As an educator and composer Sean Jones works to bring humanity to music by infusing real life expression with composition. As a musician he blends the emotion of gospel with the creativity of jazz, reminiscent of times when music was an expression of life not just performance.
"If you can over the metal you can do anything you want on the trumpet"
One of the greatest lessons Sean Jones learned from Professor William Fielder. This lesson dramatically changed the way Jones approached his music, "Before him I thought the trumpet was a difficulty I had to master," says Jones. He learned instead that the trumpet was simply a microphone for the soul and seeing his ability as a gift, Jones has made a vow to himself that the music he created would always have the purpose of expressing humanity and the stories of life.
His five recordings on the Mack Avenue label, evidence of this purpose, his latest being "The Search within" which made its debut at the number two spot on the jazz weeks chart, Jones explained this as being one of his most exciting projects to date, a spiritual and sonic journey.
Currently, Jones is a professor of Jazz studies at Duquesne University. He also teaches Master Classes and clinics around country.
He works as the Artistic Director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.
Jones is also the artistic Director for Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra which launched their first concert on October 8th
Sean Jones, The Search Within
Mack Avenue Records, March 24
If only words failed as often as now. I'm reduced to mewling old standards like "If you only buy one jazz album this year." and the like in the face of this one, Jones' fifth LP as bandleader. For footing's sake, Jones' trumpet was one of several reed instruments played by the big names that featured prominently in jazz-diva Nancy Wilson's 2006 Grammy-winning album Turned to Blue, and when he's not occupied doing other awesome stuff, he's lead trumpeter for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (time-shared also by Wynton Marsalis).
Perfection abounds here, whether Jones is bringing coffee-chill ("Life Cycles," featuring some pretty wizzer horn mathematics and a Stevie Wonder-ready harmonica), winking at oldschool post-bop (the raucous, rancorous "Transitions") or flirting with prog to stretch out his deep, indefatigable talent ("The Search Within [For Less]"). I can't imagine anyone finding a single fault with this album aside from its utter lack of, you know, imperfection. A gem, a classic, A , holy crow. Etc. A
No longer standing in the shadows of the greats, trumpeter Sean Jones has been coming into his own since his well received debut, Eternal Journey (Mack Avenue Records, 2004). His trajectory has coursed through four previous releases, exploring, maturing, and progressing into one of today's shining voices with The Search Within.
Incorporating the fierceness of Freddie Hubbard and the smooth composure of Terence Blanchard, Jones possesses his own style that can deliver blistering notes or silky tones at the drop of a hat. But he is also a deft composer and ardent band leader, guiding a shining group of unsung and noted performers who give it their all throughout this polished work.
The passing of the great Freddie Hubbard in December of 2008 was a humbling reminder of the continuum of life and music. But he has undoubtedly left a profound legacy with a plethora of fine young trumpeter's including Ambrose Akinmusire, Jeremy Pelt, Christian Scott, many others, and most certainly Sean Jones.
By Mark F. Turner