October 14, 2010 – by Pocholo Concepcion for Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – Jack Jones lived in our consciousness while growing up in the 1970s. No, we didn’t seek him out as an idol; it was more like his songs were always on the radio and TV that there was no way of escaping his reach.
On lazy weekend afternoons it was natural to hear “She” and “What I Did For Love,” among many of his hits, on AM radio. At night,TV viewers enjoyed “Love Boat” with Jones singing on its soundtrack.
But his popularity actually dates back to the early ’60s, when his albums containing ballads and swinging versions of the Great American Songbookstood their ground against the impending British rock invasion.
Jones sounds witty in this e-mail interview.We’re looking forward to hearing his arresting voice live tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.

You’re a famous pop singer, but Judy Garland reportedly once called you “the best jazz singer in the world.”

I was on her show twice around that time. She was a good friend. At the same time, Mel Torme was the music coordinator on her show. Mel wrote a book about her and claims she said that about me in order to get back at him, as they were having an ongoing feud. I took it with a grain of salt.

But you’ve actually recorded songs with various arrangements?big band, country, bossa nova.Which type of music has appealed most to you?

I love big-band jazz, but it is a dying art. I dislike Dorseyesque dance bands, but love to sing with great musicians who can play the charts I have, written by wonderful arrangers. I like to listen to Latin jazz mostly.

You have also interpreted songs by different kinds of artists.Who has made the most impact on you?

Paul Williams, Michel Legrand, and Charles Aznavour. Great emotional and intellectual depth.

Were you surprised when a rock artist like Elvis Costello did a remake of “She” in almost exactly the same version as yours?

Yeah. It’s kind of like somebody cutting through your vegetable garden to save time.

Your parents were also in show business. Did they influence your desire to follow in their footsteps?

Yes. They were wonderful performers. However, they hoped I would pursue a less precarious profession. I am lucky to be doing what I love, and have always wanted to sing for my own reasons. Nobody pushed me.

You’ve had a rewarding career.What were some of its low points?

Most of it has been a great adventure. Theonly low points have been moments of being cheated out of something, lied to and manipulated by those who know you will not find out until they are long gone.

What keeps you interested in music?

First, the love of communicating the basic innocence of mankind and seeing the calming effect it has on my audience. Second, working with creative musicians who never play it exactly the same way twice.

What’s the greatest lesson you learned from being an entertainer?

People need to be told that they’re loved (from my opening song by Paul Williams).