WILLIE JONES III HONORS CEDAR WALTON, RALPH PENLAND, MULGREW MILLER and DWAYNE BURNO ON NEW CD RELEASE
Available now on iTunes and Amazon.com
In-stores on February 19, 2016
New York, NY (January 21, 2016) – Willie Jones III proudly dedicates his newest CD release, Groundwork, to the late Cedar Walton, Ralph Penland, Mulgrew Miller and Dwayne Burno – Jones’ musical influences and friends who have passed in recent years. Groundwork, the drummer’s sixth album as a leader and the 17th release on WJ3 Records, is now available on iTunes and Amazon.com and will be in stores on February 19.
On Groundwork, Jones explores the works of Walton, his former bandleader; Penland, an early mentor; and Burno, Jones’ contemporary and former band mate. Dedicated to these great figures in jazz, including Miller, Groundwork also includes original tunes by Buster Williams, Eric Reed and more.
Jones, who “never fails to assemble a strong crew” (NY Times) convenes living legends Buster Williams (bass) and Eddie Henderson (trumpet), virtuosos Eric Reed (piano)and Steve Davis (trombone) and rising stars Warren Wolf (vibes) and Stacy Dillard (saxophones) for this special recording.
Throughout his career, Jones has lent his supple rhythm and spirit to jazz’s most important artists including Walton, with whom Jones played for more than six years. “It’s been said that Cedar wrote some of the most enduring tunes in modern jazz and I couldn’t agree more,” Jones says. “Cedar’s compositions are more well-thought-out than the standard melody-bridge-solo structure. As a leader on the bandstand, I always play his tunes as it’s important to celebrate his songbook. I picked a few of these for this recording: ‘Hindsight’ and ‘Groundwork,’ which Eric Reed arranged as a ballad.”
“Jamar” is a tune by late Los Angeles-based musician Ralph Penland. “Ralph, one of my favorite drummers, mentored me in Los Angeles,” says Jones. “In addition to being featured on more than 100 recordings, with Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz and more, Ralph was a great composer.”
Reed wrote “New Boundary” especially for the Groundwork session and as a tribute to modern jazz musician Dwayne Burno; the song title is an anagram of the late bassist’s name. “I loved playing with Dwayne,” says Jones. “He was a great friend and one of my favorite bass players who left us too early.”
Jones dedicates Groundwork to these talents the jazz community has recently lost, including Mulgrew Miller, one of Jones’ favorite pianists.
Jones continues to prove to be one of jazz music’s most sought out drummers and producers, as he was named in Downbeat Critics’ Poll Rising Star Drums and Producer categories. The Willie Jones III Quintet will perform selections from Groundwork and more at The Blue Whale in Los Angeles on February 11 and at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City on March 3-6. Go to williejones3.com for more information.
Listen to Groundwork via stream: https://soundcloud.com/wj3records/sets/willie-jones-iii-groundwork
Groundwork Track Listing
1 Git'cha Shout On (Eric Scott Reed)
2 Hindsight (Cedar Walton)
3 Dear Blue (Floriaan Wempe)
4 Toku Do (Buster Williams)
5 Charity (Sherman Irby)
6 Groundwork (Cedar Walton)
7 New Boundary (Eric Scott Reed)
8 Jamar (Ralph Penland)
Zooey Tidal Jones