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- Jack Jones, Bournemouth Pavilion
- May 15, 2013 Lesley Dedman, Bournemouth Echo
In a packed Pavilion, Jack Jones immediately drew his audience to him as old friends, which indeed many of them were.
Jack last sung in Bournemouth at the Winter Gardens in 1984 ? and most of that audience seemed to be there tonight, one fan even coming from Austria to see him again.
Opening with a medley of hits like Summertime and I Got Plenty of Nothin', the legendary Jones voice may not have been so much under control as during earlier years, but the power and range were superb and his phrasing and timing immaculate.
Jack is still the technically accomplished singer's singer and as the voice has aged, the professionalism and emotion has come to the fore.
He showed his versatility with an energetic version of Going to Kansas City, loud, fast and fun, whilst giving his fusion of Imagine with From a Distance, true softness and meaning.
At times Jack went into the audience crooning and reaching out, and in true British fashion, his fans, many of whom he knew by name, politely shook hands with their hero!
In the second half, with his usual humour, Jack thrilled his appreciative audience by taking off his jacket and tie in a semi strip-tease, before treating us to The Man from La Mancha, sung with great command and fervour.
His six-piece band were a great act in themselves, and carried him along when Jack lost the words to The Music of the Night. The audience clapped even more loudly after the 75 year old confessed to having had a senior moment.
There was a lot of nostalgia throughout the show, with poignant and humorous memories of family, friends and past successes, but I don't think the fans who gave him a standing ovation will allow this to be a farewell tour.
- The Glorious Tones of Jack Jones
- June 28, 2012 Rob Lester, Nite Life Exchange
Jack Jones is just a joy. The longtime singer's long-held, long-heralded high notes are the highlights of his show (the run of which concludes with two shows on Saturday, June 30 at Feinstein's at Loews Regency). The beauty, strength and breath control are stunning. I can only be bothered by - but not really blame --- other impressed audience members who are so eager to show their own appreciation that they begin their noisy applause before a final note ends. OK, maybe I was also a tiny bit bothered by the singer breaking the seriously sweet hypnotic spell he set while singing a gorgeous, pure, sincere ballad version of "People" by mischievously changing one word in the lyric for comic effect. However, it became all the more testament to his command that he can afford to do that, get the chuckles, and, by the next line, be back in the zone --
and have the audience back to being emotionally reconnected, too. It does not escape my attention either that, in that song's reference to lovers, he changes the lyric referring to them in the distancing grammatical third-person form, to making it "WE'RE very special people," thus making a single word switch allowing himself to bonded with the listeners and lovers everywhere. (He may as well have sung Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Hello, Young Lovers," as he had the same effect with that one word.) Mind you, I am not usually a big fan of vocalists cavalierly changing the words of a song, but it worked. And after more than half a century vocalizing in clubs and recordings, maybe one earns a few such indulgences. Anyone who can hold notes at the ends of songs like that --- or who can begin the next song with another stunning note, cold, a capella, with no instrumental sound cuing him, cueing us all to gasp and gratefully gush and glory again --- well, you know he's not just anyone. And anyone who wants to see the great remaining veterans would be a fool to miss Jack Jones.
He begins and ends the show with retrospective, introspective perspective. He starts off laying it on the line with the line, "I've been so many places in my life and time/ I've sung a lot of songsc" with Leon Russell's "A Song for You." Again, a couple of little adjustments and direct eye contact with spectators and a hand sweeping across the room makes it clear that "you" becomes the audience, at least at first, not just the one "darling" or "baby" the lyric will address. (The woman who wears his ring is indeed ringside and gets plenty of attention for direct loving serenading and focus, handing off a prop, asking him to tell what turns out to be a very funny story about an appearance on TV with Ed Sullivan.) And the look back at his professional/personal life at the show's end comes with "Here's to Life" and a video montage as he masterfully presents the closer of carpe diem decisiveness. Not what we can call a refreshing choice, as the philosophy-soaked number seems to attract so many singers with some mileage: besides Shirley Horn, Eartha Kitt, Dane Vannatter, and Barbra Streisand who've gravitated to it, the mic at Feinstein's has had it intoned during appearances by Kitty Carlisle Hart, Mary Wilson, Barbara Cook, and Gloria Reuben (all of whom even named their acts after the number), as well as Lainie Kazan, Marilyn Maye, Eddie Bruce, and Janet Planet. Still and all, Jones does well earn his turn to turn his thoughts to making the song's toast. And he deserves a toast for the segment preceding it, in monologue and song taking on the lead character of The Man of LaMancha, a role he once played on stage, including (of course) "The Impossible Dream" (with which he also had vinyl success back in the 1960s and recently redid on his latest, excellent CD, Love Ballad). His chatty patter setting this up, as if not to set up high expectations, apologetically said he wanted to do it even though it was "corny" was not wise or needed: it was a highlight among highlights.
The set list was heavy on old standards like "Angel Eyes," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "You've Changed." Fortunately, he hasn't changed much over the years, except to now have white hair and be looser and jazzier: he's still a class act, a great entertainer who has a lot to give and gives it, the voice in splendid shape and one he knows so well how to showcase. With the support of a fine small band featuring sax great Houston Person (who gets some solo moments), the spotlight remains on the vocalist.
And, oh, those sustained tones of glory and guts! There are some singers' voices my memory has long ago lovingly locked in and they linger. The voice of Jack Jones is one of those. He was one of the very first star singers I ever saw in person, whose albums I searched out and collected, whether he was crooning what some would call the sugary stickiness and floweriness of "Lollipops and Roses" (which won him a Grammy way back when) or standards or passing hits of the day. One of those is reprised here: "The Games People Play," finding some remaining juice to squeeze out of the oldie after all this time. But his work is clearly no simple "game" to Jack Jones: communication and class are the name of the game, and he takes it all seriously. So do we.
- In a New Locale, He Has the Same Familiar Croon
- June 28, 2012 by Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"Show rooms keep closing behind me, but I just keep moving," the singer Jack Jones remarked near the end of his show at Feinstein's at Loews Regency on Wednesday evening, naming two fabled but vanished Las Vegas lounges. In New York City, Mr. Jones, until this year, had made an annual appearance at the now closed Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel. He has since moved 17 blocks uptown, and from the West Side to the East, for a too-short run at Feinstein's.
The change of club seems to have reinvigorated Mr. Jones, who was in magnificent voice as he delved more deeply than ever into his material. His set on Wednesday was mercifully devoid of signature hits like "Wives and Lovers," songs that are embarrassments in these postfeminist times. (Even if performed with a wink and an apology, they still leave a taint.) His band featured Lou Forestieri on piano, Chris Colangelo on bass, Patrick Tuzzolino on guitar, Kendall Kay on drums and Houston Person on saxophone.
With a white mane that peaks in a roosterlike crest and his impeccably suave manners, Mr. Jones has the aura of a mostly tame lion whose growls evoke a sense of himself as the last - and maybe the best - of a vanishing breed. No one sings like this anymore, and maybe no one can. He is still firmly in command of his formidable technical skills. And his interpretations of standards, more so than those of most singers over 70, feel like the reflections of a man humbled by age, one who has belatedly woken up to his good fortune and is engaged in serious self-scrutiny.
Mr. Jones's artful growls, emanating from his core, lend him the authority of first-rate pop-jazz swingers like his friend, the much-missed Joe Williams. The pretty boy crooner of "Lollipops and Roses" is long gone, replaced by an inner wild man who periodically breaks out of his cage to release maniacal cries that evoke an anarchic animal exuberance.
His buttoned-down 1968 performance of the obscure "Gypsies, the Jugglers and the Clowns," a declaration of nonconformity (which can be seen in a YouTube video), is half-hearted compared with his whooping rendition on Wednesday. "Just One of Those Things" spun into orbit with the same uncontainable ferocity.
The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" became a grown man's heavyweight vow of devotion. Best of all was a rendition of his 1966 hit, "The Impossible Dream," that transformed this sentimental war horse into an anthem of personal determination, not only to keep moving but to keep getting better.
Jack Jones performs through Saturday at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue, at 61st Street; (212) 339-4095, feinsteinsattheregency.com.
- The Sounds of American Independence
- June 28, 2012 by Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal
The crowd at Feinstein's reacts most excitedly to Jack Jones's big high notes and other displays of vocal virtuosity. At an age when most of his heroes began losing their chops, that's nothing to take for granted. Yet it isn't the pure power of his voice that's most impressive; it's the sensitivity with which he animates a lyric, a sensitivity that only increases with age. No one has ever rendered "People" so intimately; it's the first time I've felt like it was being sung by a person who actually needs people. Mr. Jones enacts the lyrics to "Angel Eyes" so vividly that when he moves about the tables at Feinstein's, you feel like he's really searching for his lost love, and finding resolution in the bottom of a glass. With tenor-saxophone great Houston Person providing support, Mr. Jones swings mightily, his timing off only in that this run only lasts a week.
Mr. Jones is among the youngest in the pantheon of major male vocalists, with a lineage that goes back to Al Jolson and Bing Crosby and extends through his immediate mentors, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Tony Bennett (all of whom encouraged him). All of them combined elements of pop music and jazz, and were equal parts crooner and jazz singer.
In the past decade, working in the late, lamented Oak Room and now Feinstein's, Mr. Jones has proven that he's also a cabaret artist. He has a relentless drive to relate to everyone in every room in which he sings. He bookends his show with video clips of his 50-year career (including snippets of duets with every '60s celebrity short of Fidel Castro), and even images of his family. People who have never met him say "...and say hi to the kids" on their way out.
His opening number ("I am a Singer") notwithstanding, Mr. Jones is more a than singer—he's emcee, toastmaster, party host. He continues to show a predilection for songs that celebrate the act of singing, as with "The Gypsies, Jugglers, and Clowns," and occasionally to toast himself as well, with "Here's to Life," long the self-congratulatory go-to song for veteran vocalists.
Such reflective intimacy serves him well on his latest album, "Love Ballad," a set of songs, with musical direction by the brilliant pianist Mike Renzi, both new and familiar in his catalog. The title number, by his guitarist Patrick Tuzzolino, concerns itself with both nouns in the title, being a song about love and a song about love songs. In a way, "I Can't Wait to Miss You" is also a song about songs, deriving its impact by playing off the expectations that have accumulated from listening to a thousand generic love songs. The melody is cut from a straight romantic ballad, but if you listen closely, the witty lyrics (by Mr. Jones himself) are actually telling someone's significant other to take a hike: "I Can't Wait to Miss You / so when are you leaving?" Mr. Jones sings it completely seriously, like a brilliant actor making a comic role funny by playing it straight.
Mr. Jones is also the sole jazz crooner out of the traditional continuum to make much of songs of the past 50 years: He sings Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows," and as an encore at Feinstein's, he deliberately puts the jazz concept aside to sing the two key songs from "Man of La Mancha" (which he's played in regional theater): the title number and "The Impossible Dream." It's certainly stirring, but I prefer the more personalized treatment of the latter on the album, which frames "The Quest" with Bill Evans's "Peace Piece" in an obvious homage to the Tony Bennett-Evans album. Yes, Mr. Jones has the chops to treat this show-stopper as a big, 11-o'clock number, but by making it small and personal, he makes any dream possible.
- Jack Jones - Master of the "Love Ballad"
- June 27, 2012 by Sandi Durell, NY Cabaret Examiner
"I am a singer..." croons Mr. Jones as he makes an unannounced appearance on the stage at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency. After a few moments, however, he's in his stride; the full headed white mane was ready to rumble. At the tender age of 74, his voice is full bodied and he's eager to show off his abilities of fine breath control with many long sustained notes punctuating impeccable phrasing throughout the one and half hour show.
Songs from his latest album "Love Ballad" are a compilation of his greatest hits tour, including the best of the Great American Songbook such as "I've Got You Under My Skin," giving saxophone great Houston Person the opportunity to wail in a solo, "Just One of Those Things," in double time, or "You Made Me Love You," all allowing Mr. Jones the latitude to boast how good his upper register and falsetto sound. His casual approach aims to please as he frequently roams the room acknowledging all while he sings.
Loosening his tie and removing his jacket, he does his Wayne Newton thing, expressing his love for Brian Wilson's classic "God Only Knows" -- slow, easy as the instrumentals build to a determination. Matt Dennis' classic "Angel Eyes" was slow and steamy; "You've Changed," a quiet tender interpretation.
With a short time spent reflecting on his younger years and how he got started in the business, the evening was all about singing the songs and his superb delivery of the lyrics. But what would an evening with Jack Jones be without his iconic Grammy winning David/Bacharach "Wives and Lovers," or "The Love Boat Theme," or reliving his role as Don Quixote and "The Impossible Dream," each getting their own oohs, aahs and intermittent standing ovations from an admiring opening night crowd.
Jack Jones is a specialty interpreter of songs, weaving the intricate lyrics of love, life and dreams. "Here's To Life!"
Jack Jones appears at Feinstein's with music director Lou Forestieri on piano, Chris Colangelo on bass, Kendall Kay on drums, Patrick Tuzzolino, on guitar and Houston Person on saxophone thru June 30th.
- Jack Jones: A Master Class in Excellence!
- June 27, 2012 by Richard Skipper
I hope this finds you all in a good mood. IF you are not, get thee as fast as you can to Feinstein's before the week is over to hear and see a singer at the top of his game, Jack Jones. Jack Jones is a double Grammy award winning jazz and pop singer and with good reason. He's great! I'm a huge fan. I was one of the lucky ones to experience Jack Jones at his opening last night which also happens to be his Feinstein's debut. Feinstein's at Loews Regency is the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine and "an invaluable New York institution" by The New York Post. I saw Mr. Jones probably about five years ago at the now defunct Oak Room at the Algonquin.The New York Times raved about that engagement saying, " Mr. Jones sang to a packed house...delivered a kind of master class (see, I told you!) in traditional nightclub performance: suave but intimate, alternately preening and humble, seemingly casual but seamlessly professional." Great minds think alike! I enjoyed him then but I think Feinsteins, one of my favorite rooms in town, is the perfect place for one of my favorite singers.
Born John Allan Jones, the only son of actors Allan Jones and Irene Hervey. Jack Jones was born in Los Angeles on the very night that his father recorded his signature song "Donkey Serenade" (a fact that once prompted talkshow host Mike Douglas to say to him: "I won't ask what your middle name is"). The young Jones attended University High School in West Los Angeles and studied drama and singing. The Wall Street Journal says "he's the most thoroughly musical and constantly creative, having learned the lessons of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, that playing with a tune can be a way of personalizing it, making the lyrics resonate all the more meaningfully. Somehow, he achieves the near-impossible feat of being breathlessly intimate while belting at the top of his lungs." "The cabaret community in New York is a very tight knit community of singers who are truly supportive of each other. However, it saddens me that I rarely see them in the audiences of the masters. Jack Jones is a master of song interpretation. From the moment that he made his way to the stage singing an understated opening song about being a singer joined by five top notch musicians, he had the entire sold out audience in the palm of his hands...and we remained there through the end with the audience begging for more. Music director is Lou Forestieri on piano, Chris Colangelo on bass, Kendall Kay on drums and Nyack's own Houston Person an saxophone.
As an entertainer and with so many entertainer friends, when we are at parties, we inevitably find ourselves standing around the piano singing for each other. That was the feel I had at Jones' show last night. It was as if we were in his living room and he got up to sing for us. He is personable, open, and willing to share his music with absolutely no barriers. He worked that room like no other singer I have ever seen at Feinstein's, leaving the stage at various intervals and playing to every nook and cranny in the place! He is a true entertainer in every since of the word. There are great singers who know how to put a song across with absolutely no connection with the audience and/or the material they are singing. Then there are "singers" who don't have great voices but they know how to touch their audiences. How wonderful it is when you get the total package. total package!
Last night and through Saturday night, You GET the Jack Jones is featuring songs from his greatest hits tour and his latest CD, Love Ballad which is on sale at Feinstein's.
Jack Jones performs around the globe to sold-out audiences in venues ranging from performing arts centers to the London Palladium. His album, Jack Jones Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett was also nominated for "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance." His hit records include The Race Is On, Lady, Call Me Irresponsible, and What I Did For Love. With over 50 recorded albums (17 of them charting Billboard's Top 20) and consistently sold-out world world tours, Jack Jones continues to charm audiences with his wit, sensitivity and vocal power. His latest album, Love Ballad, is currently being distributed by Aspen Records and is available on all leading digital and mobile platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, EMusic, and Napster, among others.
All shows at Feinstein's have a $60.00 cover, with $75.00 premium seats and $95.00 upfront seats available, and an additional $40.00 food and beverage minimum. Feinstein's at Loews Regency is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. 212-339-4095 or FeinsteinsLoewsRegency.com.
- Jack Jones - RRazz Room, Hotel Nikko
- January 17, 2012 by Steve Murray, Cabaret Scenes
Opening his show with a montage of home clips, TV appearances and concert footage featuring Jones performing with some of the greatest entertainers of the last century, it's easy to see where he gets his charm and professionalism. You don't hang out with Sinatra, Garland, Peggy Lee, Joe Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett and Vic Damone without learning a trick or two. Of course one can't have the kind of career Jones has had just by proximity to great talent, and Jones has the vocal chops that put him in today's crop of truly fine singers. Mel Torme once deemed Jones "the greatest 'pure' singer in the world". He retains his lovely slow phrasing, working ballads like few can. His laconic style minimalizes the flourishes and embellishments of today's singers groomed on American Idol. With Jones, less is more and he lets the lyric take center stage.
His arrangements are sparse with just a tad of tasteful piano runs from Lou Forstieri and bassist Chris Colangelo. The songs, familiar and nostalgic, delivered with the right amount of feeling and nuance. 'You Made Me Love You' is slowed down almost to spoken word. He let loose with swing versions of 'One of Those Things', 'All or Nothing at All' and a soulful rendition of Joe South's 60's hit 'Games People Play'. The majority of his set was dedicated to love ballads, Jones' bread and butter. Jones shows off his techniques on Matt Dennis' torch song 'Angel Eyes' and 'I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face'; great breath control, long sustained notes and a wide tenor's range.
Jones is grand old style at its best, but has one foot planted in the modern. He joined Jerome Kern's 'Folks Who Live on the Hill' with Randy Newman's quirky 'Love Story (You and Me)' as two versions of family values, and performed a unique arrangement of the Beach Boy classic pop song 'God Only Knows' given him by friend Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Jones sank his teeth into 'LA Break Down (And Take Me In)', a love song to his hometown. It was tasteful and heartfelt which best represents the man himself.
- JACK JONES, "Love Ballad."
- December 13, 2011 by Bruce Fessier, The Desert Sun
This album should have earned a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop. Jones reads the title track with the honesty Sinatra brought to saloon songs.
He brings the same world-weariness to the classic "I Can't Get Started" before pushing the tempo with a lilting swing and singing around the melody with the freedom of a good jazz singer before giving it his signature big finish.
Jones reinvents some of his nearly 50-year-old hits and uses all of his tools to make this album a showcase of his still-enviable skills. The live in-studio sound means we hear a few flaws with his amazing takes. But just his remarkable version of David Gates' "If" makes that approach worthwhile.
Jack may have to do a duets album to get a Grammy for older material, but that shouldn't be difficult. He's known in traditional pop as the singer's singer.
- Jack Jones - Love Makes the Changes: The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman (Aspen)
- March 2011 - The Jazz Times
This isn't the first time Jack Jones has paid tribute to the Bergmans. Four decades ago Jones released Sings Michel Legrand, with nine of 10 tracks featuring Bergman lyrics. Back then, Jones was still singing with choirboy purity. Understandably, at age 73, his once unblemished sound is now sprinkled with gravel, but in its imperfection it has bcome more compelling. He has also adopted a looser, easier style and a deeper emotional sincerity. Succinctly, one of the all-time great pop singers has emerged as a great jazz vocalist.
Only one Bergman selection, the Oscar-winning "The Windmills of Your Mind," carries over from that 1971 session. The new playlist moves beyond Legrand to further embrace four other A-list composers (Dave Grusin, Marvin Hamlish, Johnny Mandel, Lew Spence) who have served as frequentBergman Collaborators. Backed by pianist Mike Renzi, bassist Chris Colangelo and drummer Kendal Kay, Jones mines familier bergman gems - "Nice 'n' Easy," "The Summer Knows," "It Might Be You," "The Way We Were" skillfully merged with "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" - while also offering up such wonderful rarities as Legrand's "In Another Life" and Grusin's "What Matters Most."
Impressive as Jones is throughout, equal credit is due to Renzi, one of the most simpatico allies a singer could hope for. It is Renzi, as accompanist, music director and arranger, who showcases the now richly variegated Jones to full advantage.
- Jack Jones Sings, Mike Renzi Plays at New York's Algonquin Hotel
- 2010 - Newport Seen
It was actually rectangular tables at New York's fabled Algonquin Hotel for the sold-out performances of singer Jack Jones, accompanied by Newport's own Mike Renzi on piano.
The ghosts of both literary and musical greats haunt the historic Algonquin on West 45th street in New York, while living legends perform in the long, narrow, clubby Oak Room.
Recently, Mr. Renzi, the Emmy-winning pianist-composer (for "Sesame Street") who is in Newport when not traveling to accompany Liza Minelli, Shawn Monteiro, and Tony Bennett, was there to accompany singer Jack Jones, whose appreciative audience applauded the singer's every song, story and comment. His wife Eleonora Jones was there to smile and encourage.
Newport Seen ventured down to this home of The Algonquin Round Table, which comprised the legendary literary lights and figures of the early- to mid- twentieth century who gathered there regularly to out-wit each other. (Instead of bon bons, they traded rapier sharp bon mots.) Some of the Round Circle members were Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross, publisher of the New Yorker Magazine, novelist Edna Ferber, humorist Robert Benchley, playwright Marc Connelly,and the irascible Alexander Woolcott.
Mr. Jones, son of the famed singer Allen Jones, has had an estimable Hollywood career, and Mr. Renzi rates him as one of the fine popular singers today. He performed love songs, ballads, up-tempo numbers and of course, the theme from "The Love Boat."
Relaxing after the show, Mr. Jones and Eleonora talked with Newport's Ellen Barnes, Newport Seen, and Mr. Renzi, whom Mr. Jones acknowledged during the program, enjoying the historic lounge of the hotel, forever haunted by its literary and theatrical past.
It was a New York night.
- Once More, With Feeling
- 2010/11/3 by Rex Reed - New York Observer
At 72, with hair as snowy white as your cleanest linen napkin, Jack Jones is still one of the coolest song stylists in show business.
In the middle of a three-week gig at the chic Oak Room of New York's Algonquin Hotel, the audience, old enough to have lost their remote controls, joins in.
They treat him like an old pal. They talk back to him, finishing his stanzas. They hum along on petrified musical tree stumps like "Wives and Lovers" and "Lollipops and Roses."
This is probably as it should be, for the Jones boy calls this part of his "Jack Jones Greatest Hits Tour." So sophisticated listeners who know how great this guy is will just have to grit their teeth and somehow get through the 18 millionth recap of "The Impossible Dream."
Do not despair. The talent, jazz time and intonation, and decades of hip, adept experience, are still there.
Mike Renzi, a genius accompanist who has played for Mel Torme, Sylvia Syms, Peggy Lee and Lena Horne (to name a few who knew greatness when they heard it), brings out the best in Jack.
It's a shame for him to waste all those sublime chords on tourist-trap tunes like "Dio Como Tiamo." But when they get serious and out comes a trenchant "What's New?"; a blues-tinged arrangement of the Johnny Mercer-Jimmie Rowles jazz classic "Baby Don't You Quit Now"; or the most sensitively phrased "We'll Be Together Again" I've heard since Billie Holiday, then time stands still.
He still phrases conversationally, holding second halves of syllables for underscored emphasis. "Fly Me to the Moon" still sails in from the clouds with casual yet absolute self-assurance. Sometimes, he goes for unnecessary falsetto effects that slide off the Richter scale, but the crowd still roars. When he feels the words and sings the lyrics as if he really means them, something hair-raising happens.
He's got the same youthful breath control I remember from his unforgettable Live at the Sands album on RCA Victor when he segued from the rapture of "The More I See You" into a throbbing "You Made Me Love You" without missing a beat.
Part swinging technician, part aging troubadour casting his spell on the senior citizens who raised him, everything he does is beautiful, solid and thoughtful.
Like Tony Bennett, Jack Jones is part of a vanishing breed who is still in a class by himself. But if I never suffer through "The Theme From Love Boat" again, it will be too soon.
- The Jazz Scene: Jack Jones
- 2010/10/29 by Will Friedwald - Wall Street Journal
About halfway through his show, while performing David Gates's "If,"Jack Jones sings: "If a man could be two places at one time, I'd be with you." And indeed, Mr. Jones is doing two apparently contradictory things at once: He's got to be the most conversational jazz-pop singer in the pantheon, delivering every word of every line in a direct, one-on-one dialogue with everybody in the Oak Room. At the same time, he's the most thoroughly musical and constantly creative, having learned the lessons of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra? that playing with the tune can be a way of personalizing it, making the lyrics resonate all the more meaningfully. Beyond that, Mr. Jones is the most well-endowed vocally and theatrically; nearly every ending is a big one, allowing him to show off his Olympian chops. Somehow, he achieves the near-impossible feat of being breathlessly intimate even while belting at the top of his lungs.
To miss Mr. Jones would be to miss one of the great veteran interpreters of the standard songbook (in a class with Tony Bennett and Freddy Cole). Miraculously, he keeps his balance through the entire show, managing to be up close and personal yet at the same time hitting stratospheric high notes that only dogs can hear and holding them until the cows come home. The dichotomy was represented by his two opening theme songs, the warm, intimate "Isn't That What Friends Are For?" and the bombastic, anthemic "I Am a Singer." It's not like he's one thing and then the other; he's constantly both at the same time, particularly on emblematic 1960s hits like "People" and "God Only Knows," which he brings to life more vividly than anyone I've ever heard.
Mr. Jones climaxed the opening show at the Algonquin with a new treatment of his 1965 bestseller "The Impossible Dream." The brilliant accompanist Mike Renzi starts with Bill Evans's "Piece Peace" (itself based on Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time") and leads into a rethinking of the Broadway showstopper, now self-effacing rather than self-aggrandizing. Traditionally belted by a baritone with total confidence, Mr. Jones now depicts a Don Quixote figure examining his tragedies rather than his triumphs.
- Jack Jones Serenades His Loyal Friends
- 2010/10/27 by Stephen Holden - The New York Times
Everyone is familiar with the AIDS charity anthem, gThatfs What Friends Are For,h sung by an all-star coalition, Dionne and Friends, that became a No. 1 single in 1986. But how many remember another song with the same title, written by Paul Williams, that was a minor 1972 hit for B. J. Thomas?
That catchy nostalgic ballad was the opening and closing number in the sweeping, nearly two-hour career retrospective of the singer Jack Jones at Tuesdayfs opening-night performance of his three-week engagement at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel.
Friends are like warm clothes
In the night air
Best when theyfre old
And we miss them the most when theyfre gone,
Mr. Jones sang to a packed house of longtime fans. (The couple sitting next to me claimed to have seen 200 Jones performances.)
Those lyrics evoked the vanishing breed of pop-jazz crooner of which Mr. Jones and Tony Bennett remain the great survivors. Mr. Jones, now 72, draws the same kind of well-dressed sophisticated audiences that used to attend the annual appearances at the defunct Michaelfs Pub of his friend Mel Torme, who died 11 years ago at 73. Mr. Jones also mentioned another longtime friend, Robert Goulet, who died three years ago at the same age.
Snowy haired, tanned and dapper, he was accompanied on piano by Mike Renzi (who often worked with Torme), Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums. Together they delivered a kind of master class in traditional nightclub performance: suave but intimate, alternately preening and humble, seemingly casual but seamlessly professional. Because the Oak Room isnft a glittery show room, the distance between the performer and the audience was all but erased.
The many sides of Mr. Jonesfs musical personality had their hearing. The romantic balladeer strode to the fore in gPeople,h gSomewhereh and the Domenico Modugno ballad gDio, Come Ti Amo.h gJust One of Those Things,h gIfm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letterh and gAll or Nothing at All,h swung confidently. In gLove Makes the Changes,h an obscure tune by Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman that is the title song of his new self-produced album, he became a rough-edged blues belter.
With the conspicuous exception of his glutinous early hit, gLollipops and Rosesh (outfitted with jazz chords), most of the old songs responded to Mr. Jonesfs thoughtful outlook, which tinges everything with the sense of a man taking a moral inventory of his life. In the concertfs most telling moment, during gSomewhere,h Mr. Jones hesitated an extra half-second before singing the word gforgiving,h with a pained gravity. And that is pop maturity.
- Jack Jones Ignites Oak Room
- 2010/10/27 by William Wolf - Wolf Entertainment Guide
Hefs been entertaining audiences with his singing since he was 19 and the wealth of experience sure shows. Jack Jones is a whirlwind force in his new gig at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel (Oct. 26-Nov. 13). The charm, enthusiasm and ability to put over a popular song are generously on display. On opening night the audience was so responsive that Jones rewarded it with a performance that was exceptionally long (about an hour and forty minutes) as he traveled through his repertoire. He seemed to get carried away with the good time he was having and infused the room with that spirit.
Jones also affably clued the crowd in with various anecdotes and comments. He injected bits of satire, as when after passionately delivering gI Am a Singerh in a tone of celebration, he confided that now he would tell what being a singer was really like and proceeded with droll lyrics of complaint. He also had fun with the sarcastic gI Canft Wait to Miss You,h extolling the virtues of getting rid of a lover with lyrics such as gI canft wait to miss you, so when are you leaving?h
But for all such horsing around, Jonesfs strength lies in how he delivers the biggies. He can swing through gJust One of Those Things,h become mellow with gFly Me to the Moon,h offer a bouncy version of gIfm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letterh and give his all with gSomewhere.h He can handle the emotion in gIf You Go Away,h or soar with gPeople.h He excels with gDio Como Tiamo,h about a man who is reaping the bitter results of having cheated on the love of his life. When it comes to gImpossible Dream,h he puts his own stamp on it, endowing it with narrative structure as well as the obligatory rousing climax.
Time and again he demonstrates how he can reach strong high notes and hold onto them as if in a contest, proving that the vocal strength is still there. Jones strolls the room singing to individuals, making personal connections without getting corny. One of the anecdotes he spins is a report on going to the Philippines where he was expected to sing gThe Loreleih?gthe only place in the world where it was a big hit.h He had to learn it for the occasion. He also includes in his repertoire his early hit gLollipops and Roses,h and the gLove Boath theme from the television series.
What comes across is his exuberant personality, which renders him a welcome entertainer, one whose years of experience culminates in making the audience feel at home with a seasoned pro. There is easy-going rapport with his musicians, musical director and pianist Mike Renzi, Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums.
Jonesfs origins are well known?born the son of Allan Jones, famed for his singing in the Marx Brothers comedy gA Night at the Opera,h and actress Irene Hervey. He made his debut with his dad in Las Vegas at the age of 19. (Allan Jones used to live in my building, and Ifd often ride in the elevator with him, staring in an attempt to recognize the youthful face of the movies singing gThe Donkey Serenadeh in the face of the then much older man.)
The family lore is still there, but Jack Jones has long since established himself for his own talent, and it is a pleasure to see it on display once again, after all the nominations, awards, hit albums and tours.
At the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, Phone: 212-419-9441 or email@example.com.
- 'Seniors prom' at the Big Dome
- 2010/10/20 by Ricardo F. Lo - The Philippine Star
Like vintage wine, Jack Jones gets better with age. He is one of the finest recording artists to come out of America, loved not only by music lovers all over the world but by composers whose songs he has recorded.
You can say that again, Jose Mari Chan.
At the Big Dome last Saturday night, Oct. 16, Jack once again regaled an estimated 8,000 fans with mostly his old songs that we never get tired listening to over and over again, bringing us back to the good old days when life was simpler, love was just ready to bloom and the world was less chaotic than it is today.
Joe Mari, who with his family (wife Mary Ann Ansaldo and their children Michael, Franco, Joe and Liza) hosted a dinner for Jack and his wife Eleonora at the Chansf sprawling bungalow in Dasmarinas Village, Makati City, two nights earlier, was among those in the audience that also included (among those we spotted), former First Lady Imelda Marcos (on the front row beside Eleonora), Deana Jean Lopez, Mike Enriquez, Boots Anson-Roa, JullieYap Daza,Vivian Sarabia, wheelchair-bound Celia Diaz-Laurel with son Cocoy, Ronaldo Valdez and wife Baby, Baby Fores and Gretchen Cojuangco.
It was strictly gSeniors Prom,h like a long-delayed class reunion of forever Jack Jones lovers, some of them in wheelchairs, some accompanied by children who must be familiar only with the songs but not the singer and, to quote STAR columnist Baby Gil,gsome of them Botoxed.h
At 72, Jack is as magnetic as ever, his voice only a bit raspy when he hit a high note (maybe due to jetlag and having just performed in Cebu the night before), but he is, yes, plakang-plaka all the way, so much like the vintage Jack Jones that if you closed your eyes it felt as if you were just replaying his ggreatest hitsh CD, sipping red wine in your den on a stormy night.
Hefs hot,h exclaimed the ladies in the audience, some of them daring to pose for pictures with Jack when he went down the stage.
gHe endeared himself to the audience with a magnificent performance, singing his songs that were the soundtrack of our lives for the last 46 years,h said Joe Mari. gHis intimate rendition and reading of his songs made each one of us in the audience feel that he was serenading us one-on-one.h
Jack kicked off the two-hour solo show (there was no front act) with a new song and followed it up with I Am a Singer which he dedicated to Joe Mari, saying,gSinging is a glorious gift,h and adding as an afterthought,gWe miss them (singers) the most when they are gone.h Then, he segued to familiar songs like Tony Bennettfs For Once In My Life and In Other Words, laughing at himself when he forgot some of the lyrics.
The audience erupted into a hearty applause when Jack sang Lollipops and Roses, his very first hit that won him his first Grammy Award for Best Male Performance in 1962 and which was used as title and theme of a Premiere Productions movie in the early e70s starring Nora Aunor and Cocoy Laurel with a then unknown named Don Johnson (remember him?).
After a 15-minute intermission, Jack opened the second portion with If You Go Away (words by Rod McKuen) from, according to Joe Mari, the French song Ne Me Quitte Pas written by Jacques Brel.The first time Jack went Jack Jones during his show at the Araneta Coliseum last Saturday night, captured by my E72 celfone down the stage was when he sang a medley of Lady and Call Me Irresponsible, holding his wifefs hand and lovingly looking at her eyes.
It was non-stop old-hits from then on ? If You Ever Leave Me, Carnival Song (of which the late Walter Navarro did a haunting version for the LEA Productions movie Stardoom, directed by Lino Brocka and starring Rosemarie Sonora), Dear Heart (by Henry Mancini), Lorelei (which is popular only in the Philippines), Dio Como Te Amo (one of Nora Aunorfs winning pieces inTawag ngTanghalan), the overused She (heard as the background song for the trailer of the new GMA soap Beauty Queen and which I recorded gliveh as my celfonefs new ringtone) and the unforgettable Ella Fitzgerald song Wefll Be Together.
He must love the audience so much that Jack went down the stage several times, inviting them to sing along with him, posing for more pictures.When he sang On My Way To You, he again approached his wife. It was the same song he sang the day he and Eleonora exchanged rings at their wedding barely two years ago.
gIt was one of the heart-warming moments of the show,h said Joe Mari who, like Jack, is a hopeless romantic.
The high point of the show came when Jack took off his jacket, loosened his shirt and tie and became Don Quixote with his fiery characterization in Impossible Dream, giving his all in a stirring style that made your hair stand on end, acknowledging the standing ovation with tears in his eyes. The song is from the musical Man of La Mancha which has a special significance to Jack because his father, Allan Jones, had played the role onstage and years later Jack reprised the same role.
A trivia from Joe Mari:gAllan Jones is a famous actor-singer who, in 1938, appeared with Jeanette MacDonald in the film The Firefly. His hit song from that film was The Donkey Serenade, a lilting tune that goes,Therefs a song in the air but the fair senorita doesnft seem to care for the song in the air, so Ifll sing to the mule if youfre sure that she wonft think that I am such a fool serenading the mule.h adding,g1938 was also the year Jack was born.h
Jack has been here several times in his four-decades-plus career (with performances at the Manila Hotel, the Big Dome, etc.)
Said Joe Mari,gJack has had this long-lasting love affair with the Filipinos, a love affair that will last a lifetime.h
Oh well, if Jack Jones goes away as we know he must, we will terribly miss him, wonft we?
He didnft do Moon River and What I Did For Love at the Big Dome that Saturday night but who cared? His awesome rendition of Impossible Dream was more than enough to make it a truly enchanted evening, making us dream the impossible dream to try when your arms are too weary to reach the unreachable starc
- Jack Jones - The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman
- 2009/11/7 by Elliot Zwiebach - Cabaret Scenes
Put a singer like Jack Jones together with lyricists like Alan and Marilyn Bergman and you've got heaven on earth.
Jones has still got it! As he appoaches age 72, his pipes are in great shape, and he knows how to work his voice around a note-high, low or in-between with a sweetness and a purity singers half his age would be happy to achieve. Despite a bit of hoarseness that was apparent only in the sustained notes at the end of each song?and he does sustain those last notes!?Jones exhibited complete mastery of his art in singing the lyrics of a pair of masters, the Bergmans.
There were, of course, several of their most popular songs: a pretty "The Windmills of Your Mind" (music by Michael Legrand); a very emotional "Where Do You Start?" (music by Johnny Mandel); and a super medley of "The Way We Were" (music by Marvin Hamlisch) and "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (Legrand).
But there were also a couple of lesser-known songs that were equally outstanding?particularly "I Won't Believe My Eyes" (Mandel), a song about the joys of love yet to be discovered, which more cabaret singers should seek because of its haunting melody and beautiful words ("I've never seen you in the twilight/I've never kissed you in the rain/Oh, how I envy me the joy, the thrill/Of sights that still remain!"). Another excellent albeit obscure number was "In Another Life" (Legrand), with a solid Jones vocal about a romance minus the pain?one in which "there'd be no goodbyes," according to the lyric.
Aside from his way with a ballad, Jones also excelled on up-tempo tunes, including three Legrand compositions: a non-ballad version of "The Summer Knows"; a swinging "Sweet Gingerbread Man"; and "In a Dangerous Mood," in which he let his voice go and simply wailed.
He also gave a sweet reading to "On My Way to You" (Legrand), which he dedicated to his wife of five months, Eleonora, sitting ringside?ending on a high, pure falsetto note.
Jones acknowledged his musicians right after his opening song, introducing Jeff Colella on piano?a last-minute substitute who did excellent work, plus Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums.
He departed from the Bergman canon at the start and end of his show?opening with the anthem "I Am a Singer" (Gerard Kenny/Drey Shepperd) and encoring with what he termed "the most beautiful goodbye song ever written"?"We'll Be Together Again" (Carl Fischer/ Frankie Laine).
And when the audience insisted he do a second encore, he put his tongue firmly in cheek to perform teh theme from "The Love Boat" (Paul Williams/Charles Fox), complete with a foghorn sound?proving there's almost nothing Jack Jones can't do vocally.
- BLOG JAZZ REVIEW: Jack Jones Yoshi's Jazz Club - San Francisco presentation
- 2009/08/16 by Fred Wasserman - Out n' Abouth
Music director/pianist: Vincent Falcone; electric bass: Chris Colangelo; drums: Kendall Kay; keyboards: Mark Hugenberger.
While strolling though his 8:00 p.m. Yoshi's Jazz Club opening night audience Friday, and singing to patrons, singer Jack Jones turned to an inebriated man who suddenly and rather sadly blurted,"please don't leave us", and the 71 year old Jones laughed and quipped "Did you hear what he said?! Listen, I'm trying as hard as anybody!!"
I attended all four shows.
Jones as usual was in superb voice, exhibited dazzling range and vocal control, along with unerring musicianship, and his well-established jazz instinct.
He was so good you just wanted to -- hell, cry!
This appearance was a homecoming for Jack who has not appeared in the City for "over a decade" (more like two decades, actually).
He talked about being hired to sing in 1959 at Fack's II jazz club run by the venerable George Andros who actually attended the 8:00 p.m. show Saturday evening.
And how he was "discovered" and signed by Kapp Records (Pete King) and began singing hit records, the first in 1961 -- Lollipops and Roses -- by Tony Velona while Jones was in the Air Force Reserve.
From 1964 onward, following the release of his smash hit Grammy award-winning (now politically incorrect) "Wives and Lovers" record, Jones now proceeded to sing at the most elegant well-paid venue in San Francisco--the now long-shuttered (closed in 1982) Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room with a dazzling augmented 20+ piece orchestra with harp and strings.
He now sang to attractive, well-dressed, sophisticated wealthy audiences, and quickly earned admiration by a public literally in awe of his youth, well-groomed movie star good looks, confident, witty stage manner and above-all, his beautiful singing. He still amuses! First of all, he has this impish, innocent smile that hefll flash at an audience that is just delightful. Like a little kid.
He plunged into what one reviewer two years ago correctly referred to as a "daunting" 18-song show of carefully crafted ballads, standards and show tunes that he has made famous and deservedly so over the years.
Singing just doesn't get any better than this!
Whether ballads("There's A Place For Us" done in two keys, "What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life" with a witty aside: "I want to see your facec. bookc. in every kind of light!"; his famous "One At A Time" by Michel Legrand sung to the audience; a complex arrangement of "Not While I'm Around") , latin beats (his amusing new Latin version of his "Love Boat Theme" delighted), or "Baby, Baby Don't You Quit Now", a Jimmy Rowles/' Johnny Mercer sexy, slow swinging love song.
Jones excelled at everything, charming the house.
Working with a four-piece band led by pianist Vincent Falcone, with bassist Chris Colangelo, drummer Kendall Kay, and electric keyboardist Mark Hugenberger, Jones immediately established his credentials with his signature "I Am A Singer" solid rock ballad tribute to singers and their art, then jumped into his very jazz-like, complex fast swing "She Love Me"(riffing on both the melody and the rhythm).
He switched songs between sets.
At one point in the third show, a fragile elderly lady --an apparent friend of Jack's in first row center -- loudly asked for his hit "Lollipops And Roses" near the end of the set, and he quickly switched and sang the song to the delight of everyone.
He added "Have You Met Miss Jones" for the third and fourth show which he wittily dedicated to his beautiful new wife Eleanora ("And we'll keep on meeting til we die, Mrs. Jones and I").
Welcome home, Jack Jones.
- Concert Review: Jack Jones
- 2009/02/25 by Chelsea Greenwood - Boca Raton Magazine
Veteran crooner Jack Jones took to the stage yesterday for his first of 10 nights at the Royal Room at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. A video preceding his concert showed a montage of career highlights, including performances with Mel Torme and Tony Bennett and appearances on the shows of stars like Judy Garland and Dean Martin. But Jones really didn't need such a prologue?his performance spoke for itself. Before a crowd of friends, fans and soon-to-be-delighted first-timers, Jones powered through a nearly 2-hour set full of romantic ballads, Broadway tunes and a couple bluesy jaunts. He didn't forget the crowd-pleasers, either, such as his 1961 Grammy Award-winning hit "Lollipops and Roses" and the theme from "The Love Boat," which he made famous. Throughout the night, Jones' voice?slipping comfortably between notes low and high?consistently belied his 71 years. Meandering through the crowd, greeting old friends and riffing with hecklers, Jones seemed perfectly at ease and having a ball. Jones' four-man band (drums, piano, bass guitar and keyboards) accompanied him well, not fading blandly into the background yet allowing the star to shine without competition. I can only hope that those in line to see Jones over the next week and a half are treated to as unforgettable a performance as we were.
- Once the New Kid, Now the Silver Survivor
- 2009/12/08 by Stephen Holden - New York Times
Jack Jones with Dean Martin. With Judy Garland. With Johnny Carson. With Jimmy Durante. With Peggy Lee. With Ed Sullivan. As television images of Mr. Jones with this or that show business legend flashed on two video screens at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel on Wednesday evening, the implicit message seemed to be that Mr. Jones, now snowy haired, leonine and celebrating his 50th anniversary in show business, is the last one standing. In 1962, when he had his first hit, "Lollipops and Roses," Mr. Jones was the handsome, fresh-faced new kid on the block in an already established tradition of honey-dripping lounge lizards who swing. Today he is the same animal, but his weathered voice is filled with seams and crevices. It is the voice of a gentleman rancher astride a horse, surveying his property in a television western. It is said that as we age, we become more and more ourselves. And the mature Jack Jones has refined a style that could never be called cookie-cutter. His world-weary cragginess coincides with an impulse to take ballads at extremely slow tempos and to execute them with the hesitations, drawn-out notes and sudden leaps that are a trademark of the jazz singer Mark Murphy. Because the lower end of Mr. Jones's voice has deepened, his sudden flights into a quasi-falsetto are more dramatic than ever. At times they suggest the spontaneous eruptions of a polished stylist impatiently throwing caution to the wind. The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," the only rock song in his program, was treated as a semioperatic aria, with a Chopinesque piano accompaniment, its high drama culminating in a keening cry. "Not While Ifm Around," the ballad from "Sweeney Todd," was turned into an earnest father-son bonding song in which the ominous tone of a fatherfs vow of protection suggested a gangster promising revenge, if necessary. Almost as original was a tricky Afro-Cuban version of "Just in Time." On the up-tempo numbers Mr. Jones and his band ? Jeff Colella on piano, Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums ? cut loose and swung hard. Mr. Jones has a healthy sense of humor. Reflecting on "'The Love Boat' Theme," he joked that he had made of millions of dollars by threatening to sing it. Then he did. It wasnft so bad. Jack Jones appears through Sept. 20 at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, Manhattan, (212) 419-9331, www.algonquinhotel.com.