Sean Jones

Sean Jones Quartet, Never Before Seen, Mack Avenue ***

Straightahead modern-mainstream sounds from the quartet of Sean Jones, pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Luques Curtis, and Monty Alexander drummer Obed Calvaire who also cropped up on Helen Sung’s Anthem for a New Day earlier in the year. Jones is a seasoned leader with half a dozen albums to his name and best known as the former lead trumpet of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. This new album has a range of original compositions of Jones’ all of them possessing an immediacy, and there’s also an Evans tune, the bebop warhorse ‘How High the Moon’, and Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Not While I’m Around’ from the musical Sweeney Todd. What sticks in the mind more than the tunes though is Jones’ lovely full tone, control, and technical facility, his fluttery runs on ‘Dr Jekyll’ spurred on by Evans’ easy mobility and Calvaire’s sheer fleetness of foot. The introspective intimate side of the record emerges on a tune such as ‘Interior Motive’, and the more you listen the more depth you’ll discover. Co-produced by Christian McBride, if you expect Jones to swing you’ll be right on track. SG
Released in the UK and Ireland on 21 July