Following on from their debut album No Alternative and sophomore set Keeping Up, Jonesy released Growing in 1973, their third and final album for the Dawn label. Overseen by top-notch producer Rupert Hine, it was certainly the best sounding set of the batch, and arguably their most adventurous, but that wasn't necessarily a good thing. The almost-12-minute long set closer "Jonesy" was a case in point. What should have been an exciting epic instead disintegrates into overindulgent improvisation. It starts off strong enough with the instruments circling around the organ and Mellotron, the electric guitar then storms in, and the piece pushes into R&B laced with funk and wah wah guitar. But then it fragments into a series of disjointed solos, and never really comes back together, although at times it's intriguing how the various instruments can evoke a genre with just a few notes or chords. Along the way, though, "Jonesy" loses the plot, better was the set opener "Can You Get That Together," where the band indeed get it together. Here too they tumble through genres, funk, surf, psych, jazz, R&B, and rock, but a strong melody and a coursing rhythm lace the song up tight, even when the group shift into the improvisational jazz section. "Know Who Your Friends Are" is similarly effective, as the band shifts tempos and moods, sliding from bright and light prog rock into slower, prettier passages that build and build, finally exploding into driving hard prog where the organ, guitar, and trumpet duel for supremacy. On "Hard Road" axeman John Evan Jones goes head to head with trumpeter Alan Bown, as the band exuberantly winds its way through Latin rhythms, funk, jazz, and rock. These musical battles were a new development, perhaps reflecting the internal tensions that soon saw the group split apart. And while the fencing certainly fed the number's excitement, on the downside, too often the musicians were going their own way, with no regard to the song or their bandmates. In the end, this leaves too much of the album feeling unfocused and disconnected.
It was still a grand set, but the rot was setting in. Keeping Up would be their apex while the Jonesy empire was fast beginning to crumble. ~ Jo-Ann Greene