For listeners not immersed in the swing revival, Jumpin' With Jonah will seem worlds apart from much of what's being performed and recorded these days. However, those who appreciate jazz as dance music will find this timeless, tightly arranged collection mostly classics a rewarding lesson in jazz history.
Jones, who died April 31 at age 91, got his start as a trumpeter in the early swing bands of Jimmie Lunceford, Cab Calloway and Fletcher Henderson. This recording was originally released in 1958 and features pianist Hank Jones, bassist John Brown and drummer Harold Austin.
Jones sparkles on "Bill Bailey (Won't You Please Come Home)" and "The Blues Don't Care (Who's Got Em)." "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" and a vocal rendition of "A Kiss To Build a Dream On" (RealAudio excerpt) are odes to Louis Armstrong, who popularized the songs and influenced Jones' trumpet playing. "Lots of Luck Charley" and "No Moon at All" are two gems that will stick with you long after the album ends.
An infectious groove permeates this selection of standards and show tunes. Songs like "Moten Swing" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Slowly but Surely" (RealAudio excerpt) move along slow and easy, perfect examples of the swing tradition.