The Jazzcat

Willie Jones III back at Catalinas Bar and Grill!

by on Mar.26, 2007, under News


“Hometown boy makes good” is usually what they say.  Only in this case, hometown boy makes great

music, and good just does not cut it. 

Willie Jones III is his name and I have known about the swing for quite

some time.


Back at Catalina’s once again and the crowd is filled with

three types: fans, family and the jazz family. Los Angeles has a hard core group of people

who are out at every hip jazz event in town and of course when Willie is

playing, they are all packed down in front.


Tonight on stage are some of our finest players in LA.  These young cats make waves, names, harmony

and big rhythm for themselves. On trumpet, long time compadre of Willie all the

way down from San Diego, California, Mr. Gilbert Castallenos.  On tenor the warm toned front man who

commands his instrument with ease and proficient tender accuracy, Walter Smith

III. Seems like the power to the third squared all adds up to be the perfect

equation! There ought to be a t-shirt that says “Gerald Clayton kills” with him

as the villain and the piano as the damsel in distress!  Probably not the most PC but an accurate

description of sounds emanating from the piano. On bass, Joe Saunders, a cat

who works the rhythm like four fingers dancing on slippery slopes of, well you

figure it out! And Willie, one of the fasted guns alive; spitting automatic

musical bullets of love!


Don’t knock the swing because the pendulum moves at both

ends of the spectrum.  Whether a ballad

or a tune fueled with fire, Willie is working his kit to the extreme filling

the space and the place with a garden of beautiful notes. From the music of

Dizzy to Dorham and everything in between; each of these players stand out

individually and collectively.  The chops

don’t stop. The audience is riding every chord like a roller coaster.  The tempo is intense and does not let

up.  So many ideas flowing in and out of

the music; these cats are today’s players and tomorrow’s masters.

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Willie has a brand new disc out on his own label WJ3 and it

is called “Volume Three”. The latest in a trilogy of classic representations of

form and composition ala 21st century swing! A big influence on the

third is the second. Pops, Willie Jones II is always at his son’s performances

in Los Angeles

and is always welcome to the band stand to add to old school thing to the new

swing; getting down with piano on “Here’s That Rainy Day”.


Life is beautiful when a father influences

his son and they end up making beautiful music together.  Remember this when raising your family to

greatness! Willie Jones III, Volume Three in stores, at clubs, online, you know

what to do!


LeRoy Downs


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