Exposé Online banner

Paul Jones — Clean
(Outside In, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-09-30

Clean Cover art

With Clean, saxophonist Paul Jones brings together a number of musical threads that are usually considered separately, and puts them into a context that is functionally large ensemble jazz, though instrumentation varies from track to track. These threads that he weaves include creative modern jazz (not blues-based or much like bebop), Philip Glass style arrangements, and some algorithmic generative techniques. The set kicks off with “Ive Sn Th Gra Md” (yes, that’s the title), which is one of the Glass-inspired pieces. It’s composed for a small chamber orchestra of woodwinds and brass and features interlocking ostinato phrases. The title extracts letters from Allen Ginsberg’s poetry and uses them as the basis for formulas to choose the notes. The result is a short piece that sets the stage for what’s to come. Next up, the title track features a sextet of Jones on tenor sax with Alex LoRe (alto sax), Matt Davis (guitar), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Johannes Felscher (bass), and Jimmy Macbride (drums), and it starts with the saxes playing arpeggiated lines similar to what was heard in the previous track. Another element is added in “Alphabet Soup,” namely a cello, which along with bassoon, augments the jazz players for a piece that provides a mid-point between the extremes presented so far. What’s fascinating is how Jones applies techniques associated with Glass and Steve Reich to jazz, resulting in tunes that are very distinctive but don’t sound forced or over-thought. The offset rhythmic patterns and repeated arpeggios are incorporated into arrangements that make sense, and are delivered with sincere feeling. Zaleski’s piano is worth calling out, as his backing for the solos keeps within the harmonic structures established and avoids stock voicings, but nevertheless sounds like jazz. Every track has lovely touches, often when one of the musicians outside the core sextet is brought into a piece like “Centre in the Woods” and “Hola, Amigo,” where bassoon and cello add counterpoint to the saxophones. This is the most innovative jazz arranging I’ve heard since Josh Green’s Telepathy and Bop crossed my desk. Highly recommended for those who are tired of the same old thing in jazz but don’t want to go electronic or noisy.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Paul Jones

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Emily Bezar - Grandmother's Tea Leaves, Moon in Grenadine & Four Walls Bending – I read a review of Moon in Grenadine some time ago which described it as what you might get if Sarah McLachlan’s band indulged itself in a King Crimson fetish, so of course I had to have it. While...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues