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«Listening Back»

Jean Claude Jones was born in Tunisia in 1950 and moved to France as a young child, and there as a teenager, he taught himself to play bass guitar, and at the age of 17, he began working his professional career as a musician in pop and jazz bands. In 1978 he moved to the United States and studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he majored in jazz guitar. He continued his studies at the Music Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, and in 1983 he emigrated, again, to Israel, where he became a key player in the small jazz and later free improvised scenes, as a double bass and electronics player, an esteemed educator in the Jerusalem Academy of music and the founder of the local Kadima (move on in Hebrew) Collective label. Due to his multiple sclerosis illness, he was forced to switch back to the guitar.

Jones has played and collaborated with many innovative improvisers, mainly double bass players like Joëlle Léandre, Barre Phillips, Mark Dresser, Bert Turetzky and Irina Kalina Goudeva (all released albums on Kadima Collective), and initiated the double bass players’ international summit in Jerusalem Deep Tones for Peace in 2009 (disclaimer: I assisted producing this event). Jones had long-running collaborations with local improvisers like Harold Rubin, Steve Horenstein, Anat Pick and dancer Anat Shamgar.

Listening Back 1983-2023  is Jones’ compassionate and sobering perspective on his rich and productive musical career, from the standpoint of an experienced listener, editor of random and almost forgotten recordings, virtual collaborator, and a disabled musician and improviser who can still produce some fascinating and adventurous sounds. This is the 14th DIY album of Jones since 2016, all available through Kadima Collective, some offer remote and virtual duets with past comrades like pianist Sophie Agnel, vocal artist Catherine Jauniaux and improviser-composer Ulrich Krieger.

Jones, will all the physical restrictions that his illness inflicted on him, still have the passion and imagination of a one-of-a-kind free improviser. He does not need to cover all the piano keyboard to suggest an engaging, fresh duo with Israeli percussionist Noam David, and his solo musings on lap steel Spanish guitar and vocals highlight his profound musical personality. He reminisces and edits a few of his free-associative double bass improvisations, has a beautiful, remorse duo with French guitarist Raymond Boni and a historic recording from 1983 covering playfully Dave Holland’s classic «Four Winds» (originally from Conference of the Birds, ECM, 1983).

Eyal Hareuveni

Jean Claude Jones (b, p, g, v), Noam David (perc), Raymond Boni (el.g), Eric Schultz (el.b), Brett Taylor (dr)

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