Charlie does have stage and or recording history with the likes of Bettye Lavette, Randy California, Lonnie Youngblood, Buddy Miles, Charles Earland, Larry Coryell and even Tiny Tim!. Jones was also a cast member of the cult classic television show Uncle Floyd, regularly filling in for guitarist Jimmy Vivino. Jones hasn't been just hanging out over the years. Charlie is also an adjunct guitar and jazz ensemble instructor at NYU.
Charlies band features top notch, skilled and confident players from NJ who shine whether they are soloing or holding the canvas. They are drummer Paul Unsworth [AKA 'Hernandez' seen locally supporting Peter Karp and Ian Parker], bass player Matt Raymond, guitarist Nick Spidaletto [ VooDudes] and keyboard player Gary Mancinelli.
On this Wednesday evening Charlie and the band kicked off the set with an instrumental blues shuffle. Charlie's lightning quick fingers on his hollow bodied Gibson emitted a soft feathery tone when the band shifted into Macinelli's smokey swirling B3 Hammond organ flowing in to Spidaletto's fat juicy toned Strat solo and then on to a great back and forth between Jones and drummer Unsworth. The band is super tight and they show a maturity and support for each other that only years of playing can grant you. I was not familiar with the originals that Jones mixed in with his treatments of songs from Thelonius Monk and even the Beatle's 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Yer Blues' but they fit together seamlessly. A special treat was when Stanhope House proprietor Jon Kline climbed on stage to sing excellent versions of 'Kansas City' and 'Red House'. Spidaletto ripped an incredible solo on the latter. There was a Danny Gatton feel to some of the tunes Jones played on his Telecaster guitar but while Charlie's influences [Miles, Jimmy, The Beatles and a few others] are part of the mix, the sound is all his own. Treat yourself to some world class entertainment from Charlie Jones and his great band the last Wednesday of every month at the Stanhope House or follow charlie at getcharliejones.com
Greg Lewis 'Rock-it Science' 91.9 WNTI Hackettstown NJ and wnti.org Thursdays 8-10 PM