Inez Jones (vcl), Oscar Moore (g), Carl Perkins, Howard Biggs (p), Curtis Counce, Leroy Vinnegar, Red Callender (b), Bill Douglass, Chico Hamilton (d)
Reference: FSRCD 728
Bar code: 8427328607285
Inez Jones was a good singer whose solid reputation, especially among the jazz cognoscenti, never really spread much beyond San Franciscos Bay Area, where she worked steadily during the Forties and the Fifties. With a light, attractive voice, a little reminiscent of Maxine Sullivan, she could swing, and her deft phrasing and reading of a lyric enabled her to handle a variety of material with persuasive authority.
Her rare recorded work is notable for the fact that she brought the intimate manner of her club performances into the studio, and for the accomplished jazzmen she used to make the handful of recordings on which she appeared. On the 1957 album these include the near legendary pianist, Carl Perkins, part of a fine West Coast rhythm section with bassist and celebrated bandleader Curtis Counce, and drummer Bill Douglas, as well as guitarist Oscar Moore, who achieved his greatest fame in the trio of another singer, Nat King Cole. (Incidentally, on the instrumental numbers turned by Moore in this album, two guitars are heard, both by Oscar. Bass, played by Leroy Vinnegar, and rhythm guitar were recorded first, and then solo guitar was overdubbed.)
As a bonus, four tracks from two rare 78rpm albums Miss Jones recorded five years earlier are included, and all the tunes from the Moore and Vinnegar session that were not released on the album.
"Although not widely known in the 1950s and all but forgotten today, Inez Jones (1917-2000) was worthy of more attention then and it is real pleasure to hear her again today. She has a light, fluid vocal sound, with an agreeable aura of happiness where the lyrics demand it, thoughtfully intense where needed. Spending much of her professional career in the San Francisco area, she had a following there and perhaps chose to stay for that reason.
Oscar Moore was best known, of course, for his spell with Nat King Cole and those who recall the delights he brought to that trio will not be disappointed with what he does here. Moore's soloing is effortlessly inventive, never predictable and rhythmically solid and swinging. He really was a major figure in the history of jazz guitar and every one of these tracks is exemplary and should be heard by all who play jazz guitar. On the (3) tracks Moore appears with some West Coast luminaries but has the bulk of the instrumental solos and his backing accompaniment to the vocals is superb. The (2) tracks were skilfully recorded first by Moore, playing rhythm guitar, and Vinnegar, then overdubbed by Moore's solo guitar. The (3) tracks were released originally by Riverside, the (2) tracks by Omegatape; the (1) tracks were first heard on 78s.
Fresh Sound's decision to meld the two albums' tracks alternately works very well indeed and they are to be applauded not only for this but also for bringing back to our attention a very good singer and an outstanding guitarist. The star rating is arrived at by Jones, three going on four, and Moore, four going on five."
Bruce Crowther -February, 2013
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