August 13, 2009 – by David Becker for Bay Area Jazz Examiner

I’m not even going to attempt to assess the artistic merit of lounge/jazz singer extraordinaire Jack Jones – the very thought gives me a headache.
But there’s no denying the historical achievement of the white-haired wonder, whose two signature tunes both are key elements in defining a certain period in American culture.
Of the theme from “The Love Boat,” not much needs to be said. If you were part of the swinging ’70s, it’s a siren call from the pre-AIDS, pre-Moral Majority days. If not, it’s 24-karat kitsch.
“Wives and Lovers,” the Burt Bacharach-penned treatise on how a woman should please her man, is a more complex matter that invites closer scrutiny. Aside from the stunning (by today’s standard’s) sexism, consider that the whole song is based on the premise that the average woman spends the afternoon at home while her breadwinning hero fights the world. Really, it used to work that way. Or at least it was supposed to.
To really appreciate the song in a modern context, I suggest having it playing in the background as you watch “Revolutionary Road.” The song starts to sound positively sinister.
And don’t even get me started on Jones’ earworm of a theme song for the Chrysler New Yorker. Or that hair!
The maestro makes a rare San Francisco appearance at Yoshi’s on Friday and Saturday. Shows are at 8 and 10 p.m., and tickets are $35.