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Jonesy: Keeping Up

Album Notes

Rhythm team David Paull and Jim Payne left Jonesy after the release of the band's debut No Alternative. In their stead came Gypsy Jones and Plug Thomas, along with trumpeter/woodwind player Alan Bown and string arranger Ray Russell upending their previous sound. "Masquerade," which opened their sophomore Keeping Up set, immediately introduced the new crew across a dizzying array of genres. Shades of new romantics to come haunt the early passages, but then the song rounds on funk, delves deep into moody waters, pooling around woodwind and trumpet solos whipped to a froth by the lush strings while operatic vocals soar overhead. The new players weren't the only changes to be heard within; guitarist John Evan Jones had recently discovered the delight of the wah-wah pedal, and showcases it across many of the tracks. It predominates on sections of "Questions and Answers," a number encompassing jazz, funk, and Beatles flavored psychedelia along the way, as well as a military tattoo and a rollicking R&B piano. But these kinds of crossovers were second nature to Jonesy, with the epic "Children" even throwing Baroque organ and Stax-styled horns into the mix. Not all the numbers were adventures in genre busting: introspective pieces like the short "Duet," the lavish "Preview," and the unimaginatively titled but rich and emotive "Song" all picked a style and stuck with it. While Jonesy's previous album was adventurous, Keeping Up was even more so, for what the band lost in jazzy overtones they here gained in new instrumentation and effects. With hard hitting lyrics and themes, "Critique (With Exceptions)," although a bit overblown, is still amusing; "Song"'s celebration of peace, while noting the inevitably of more war to come, will certainly resonate today. The fast maturing Jonesy were here reaching their

peak. ~ Jo-Ann Greene


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