Jones remains the benchmark

Sydney Morning Herald’s John Shand reviews Vince Jones at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival.Review by John Shand, 13 September 2012

“The National Jazz Awards competition at this year’s Wangaratta Festival is for singers. I wonder if any of the entrants will be able to hold a candle to Vince Jones. Where most jazz singers give the idiom a bad name, Jones just deepens the mystery.

And it is a mystery: a kind of fiendishly difficult secret cabbalistic rite in which many wish to be initiated, but only one in a hundred actually makes the grade. In this country, Jones remains the benchmark.

Where others see distorting and embellishing a melody as proof that one is a jazz singer rather than just a singer, Jones is a lifetime beyond needing to prove anything. His melodic embellishments are the hallmark of a man with great ears for harmony, an instinct for musical logic and a love of those key watch-words of jazz: surprise and spontaneity.”

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