As we’ve all been told, birds do it, bees do it, but anyone who’s actually gone to the trouble of falling in love knows that it’s a lot more complicated when humans get involved. This can make the reality of relationships a bit disappointing for those weaned on a steady diet of radio-friendly love songs, but can also provide a much richer experience than it’s possible to describe in a couple of verses and a chorus. As has become evident over the course of his five previous albums, Sean Jones is particularly adept at plumbing complex emotional depths through his trumpet playing and composing. So when he set his mind to recording a set of love songs, it should come as no surprise that he delved into the evocative nuances of love rather than the more obvious boys-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl generalities. “I didn’t want to do your typical love songs record that just deals with one aspect of love,” Jones explains. “Not just the love from a man to a woman or the positive emotional side of falling in love. I wanted to do an album that really dealt with a few different shades of love.” 2010 was certainly a year of change for the trumpeter. In the spring he stepped down from his position as Lead Trumpeter of Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a position that Jones held for over half a decade. Additionally, he formed a new relationship with Marcus Miller, joining the bassist this past summer for a European tour. Now, in 2011, the title of Jones’ sixth CD, No Need For Words, sums up his overall approach. This is music that cuts straight to the emotional heart, whether dealing with passion, sensuality, parental nurturing, or spiritual forgiveness. Regardless of the particular feeling involved, Jones ...
For Memphis native Whalum, a respected saxophonist and multiple Grammy nominee, that spiritual/musical foundation has guided his most personal recording project. Last week Whalum released The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter III live CD and DVD. He’ll mark the occasion with an appearance and screening today at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music’s Studio A.
The Gospel According to Jazz series was born when Whalum was dropped by his longtime record label in 1997. “I was kicked to the curb by Columbia Records after 12 years. Almost immediately my wife said, ‘Let’s think of it like this: What can you do today that you couldn’t d
o yesterday as a Columbia recording artist?’ ”