JOE JACKSON

Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Third Stream / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Jump Blues • United Kingdom
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I revere the Duke, but I didn’t want to make a reverent album”, Joe Jackson says of The Duke, his new tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington.

The Duke is indeed an unconventional salute to Ellington, demonstrating the timeless brilliance of his compositions while showcasing Jackson’s skills as arranger, instrumentalist and singer. Though it’s his second album of non-original material (after 1981’s Jumpin’ Jive) it’s nonetheless a deeply personal project for Jackson, whose affinity for Ellington has been an inspiration throughout his own three-decade-plus career.

The Duke finds the iconoclastic Jackson – a five-time Grammy nominee – interpreting 15 Ellington classics over ten tracks, ingeniously combining several songs into medleys. Rather than emulating the original big-band arrangements, Jackson filters the material through his own musical imagination. The result is a surprising yet seamless fusion of styles, whose abundant playfulness is consistent with Ellington’s own freewheeling approach.

“Ellington didn’t consider his own arrangements to
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Thanks to snobb for the addition and kazuhiro, dreadpirateroberts, js for the updates

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Explicit Lyrics
EARMUSIC 2019
$11.95
$9.99 (used)
Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe JacksonSteppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson
Remastered
A&M 2001
$17.54
$14.99 (used)
I'm the ManI'm the Man
Remastered
+180 RECORDS 2015
$24.99
$7.42 (used)
The DukeThe Duke
Razor & Tie 2012
$8.58
$7.71 (used)
Look SharpLook Sharp
Remastered
+180 RECORDS 2015
$34.98
$20.00 (used)
Jumpin' JiveJumpin' Jive
Reissued · Remastered
A&M 1999
$5.16
$4.99 (used)
Night & DayNight & Day
A & M 2001
$5.23
$1.68 (used)
Joe Jackson Live 1980 - 1986Joe Jackson Live 1980 - 1986
A&M 1988
$9.10
$3.12 (used)
Night And Day (Classic Album Book Pak)Night And Day (Classic Album Book Pak)
UNIVERSAL INTL 2011
$8.28
$9.22 (used)
Rain (w/ bonus DVD)Rain (w/ bonus DVD)
Rykodisc 2008
$11.43
$4.96 (used)
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JOE JACKSON - NIGHT AND DAY - LP RECORD JOE JACKSON - NIGHT AND DAY - LP RECORD USD $12.48 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Joe Jackson - Look Sharp [CD] Joe Jackson - Look Sharp [CD] USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1h 43m
JOE JACKSON - BODY AND SOUL - LP RECORD - A&M JOE JACKSON - BODY AND SOUL - LP RECORD - A&M USD $12.48 Buy It Now 1h 45m
Joe Jackson - Laughter and Lust 1991 JAPAN CD 1st Press VJCP-28034 #107-3 Joe Jackson - Laughter and Lust 1991 JAPAN CD 1st Press VJCP-28034 #107-3 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Joe Jackson Cd Joe Jackson Cd USD $3.00 (0 bids)
1h 58m
Joe Jackson Laughter & Lust CD 1991 Virgin Joe Jackson Laughter & Lust CD 1991 Virgin USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Stepping Out - Very Best Of Joe Jackson - Cassette Album - Used Stepping Out - Very Best Of Joe Jackson - Cassette Album - Used USD $4.22 Buy It Now 2h 28m
Various Artists : Joe Jackson Night and Day~1982 CD Various Artists : Joe Jackson Night and Day~1982 CD USD $4.43 Buy It Now 3h
Joe Jackson Will Power Vinyl Record SP-3908 Joe Jackson Will Power Vinyl Record SP-3908 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h
Sampler by Joe Jackson (CD, PROMO Single) Sampler by Joe Jackson (CD, PROMO Single) USD $4.04 Buy It Now 3h
Joe Jackson : Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson CD (1998) Amazing Value Joe Jackson : Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson CD (1998) Amazing Value USD $2.62 Buy It Now 3h
2 JOE JACKSON LPs - NIGHT & DAY & WILL POWER - SEE BOTH NEAR MINT 2 JOE JACKSON LPs - NIGHT & DAY & WILL POWER - SEE BOTH NEAR MINT USD $9.00 Buy It Now 3h
VINYL LP Joe Jackson - Look Sharp A&M SP4743 VINYL LP Joe Jackson - Look Sharp A&M SP4743 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4h
JOE JACKSON I'M THE MAN LP SP 4794 JOE JACKSON I'M THE MAN LP SP 4794 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4h
Joe Jackson Body And Soul LP Album (1984) A&M SP5000 VG+ Joe Jackson Body And Soul LP Album (1984) A&M SP5000 VG+ USD $7.95 Buy It Now 4h
JOE JACKSON Summer in the City: Live in New York, CD 2000, Sony LIKE NEW JOE JACKSON Summer in the City: Live in New York, CD 2000, Sony LIKE NEW USD $11.90 Buy It Now 4h
Joe Jackson - Im The Man [CD] Joe Jackson - Im The Man [CD] USD $8.05 Buy It Now 5h
Joe Jackson - Night And Day [CD] Joe Jackson - Night And Day [CD] USD $8.18 Buy It Now 5h
Joe Jackson - Body And Soul [CD] Joe Jackson - Body And Soul [CD] USD $7.95 Buy It Now 5h
Joe Jackson - Blaze Of Glory - Sealed Longbox CD - New! Joe Jackson - Blaze Of Glory - Sealed Longbox CD - New! USD $19.00 (0 bids)
5h
Joe Jackson Band “Beat Crazy” Vinyl LP Record - Original 1980 Pressing Joe Jackson Band “Beat Crazy” Vinyl LP Record - Original 1980 Pressing USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5h
Joe Jackson ‎– The Collection cd album   Joe Jackson ‎– The Collection cd album USD $1.24 (0 bids)
5h
JOE JACKSON - Night And Day [Vinyl LP,1982] USA Import SP-4906 New Wave *EXC JOE JACKSON - Night And Day [Vinyl LP,1982] USA Import SP-4906 New Wave *EXC USD $11.22 Buy It Now 5h
LP Joe Jackson ‎– Jumpin' Jive Vinyl VG Cover VG+ in Shrink España LP Joe Jackson ‎– Jumpin' Jive Vinyl VG Cover VG+ in Shrink España USD $7.54 Buy It Now 6h
Joe Jackson ‎– Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive Vinyl SP 4871 Joe Jackson ‎– Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive Vinyl SP 4871 USD $3.79 Buy It Now 6h
JOE JACKSON Look Sharp Vinyl LP A&M SP-3187 JOE JACKSON Look Sharp Vinyl LP A&M SP-3187 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6h
Joe Jackson - Live 1980 / 1986 [New Vinyl LP] Holland - Import Joe Jackson - Live 1980 / 1986 [New Vinyl LP] Holland - Import USD $30.13 Buy It Now 7h
JOE JACKSON • Live 1980/86 2 CD Set | Night And Day JOE JACKSON • Live 1980/86 2 CD Set | Night And Day USD $19.99 Buy It Now 7h
JOE JACKSON JOE JACKSON "It's Different For Girls" A&M Records AMS 7493 7" 45rpm Pop USD $1.24 (0 bids)
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Joe Jackson You Can't Get What You Want ( till you know what you want) 45 MINT  Joe Jackson You Can't Get What You Want ( till you know what you want) 45 MINT  USD $7.99 (0 bids)
USD $11.99 Buy It Now
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Night and Day by Joe Jackson (CD, Oct-1989, A&M (USA)) Night and Day by Joe Jackson (CD, Oct-1989, A&M (USA)) USD $3.95 Buy It Now 8h
JOE JACKSON - I'M THE MAN WITH INNER ~ 1979 UK 10 TRACK ALBUM  ** EX JOE JACKSON - I'M THE MAN WITH INNER ~ 1979 UK 10 TRACK ALBUM ** EX USD $11.23 Buy It Now 8h
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JOE JACKSON BIG WORLD DOUBLE LP VINYL RECORD 12 JOE JACKSON BIG WORLD DOUBLE LP VINYL RECORD 12" USD $7.74 Buy It Now 8h
"Breaking Us In Two"--"Target" By Joe Jackson USD $4.10 Buy It Now 9h
JOE JACKSON INTERVIEW MARCH 1984 LP IN GREAT CONDITION JOE JACKSON INTERVIEW MARCH 1984 LP IN GREAT CONDITION USD $59.90 Buy It Now 9h
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JOE JACKSON Cha Cha Loco / You Can't Get What You Want 45 RPM Record (A9931) JOE JACKSON Cha Cha Loco / You Can't Get What You Want 45 RPM Record (A9931) USD $4.95 (0 bids)
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JOE JACKSON: Blaze Of Glory ORIG 1989 Vinyl LP A&M SP 5249 JOE JACKSON: Blaze Of Glory ORIG 1989 Vinyl LP A&M SP 5249 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 12h
MIKE'S MURDER Movie Soundtrack 'Joe Jackson' 1983 A&M SP-4931 RARE PROMO MIKE'S MURDER Movie Soundtrack 'Joe Jackson' 1983 A&M SP-4931 RARE PROMO USD $15.00 Buy It Now 12h
JOE JACKSON / JOE JACKSON'S JUMPIN' JIVE JAPAN CD OOP JOE JACKSON / JOE JACKSON'S JUMPIN' JIVE JAPAN CD OOP USD $13.99 Buy It Now 12h
Joe Jackson (SP5000) Body and Soul  1984 Joe Jackson (SP5000) Body and Soul 1984 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 12h
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Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson by Joe Jackson (CD, May-2001, 2 Discs Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson by Joe Jackson (CD, May-2001, 2 Discs USD $13.14 Buy It Now 13h
Joe Jackson 45 rpm Right and Wrong & Breaking Us In Two (Live) 1986 A&M Records Joe Jackson 45 rpm Right and Wrong & Breaking Us In Two (Live) 1986 A&M Records USD $7.95 Buy It Now 13h
JOE JACKSON....Rare Australian Only White Label PROMO Interview 12 JOE JACKSON....Rare Australian Only White Label PROMO Interview 12" w/ Inserts USD $35.23 Buy It Now 13h
JOE JACKSON Target / Breaking Us In Two 45 RPM PROMO Record A6098 JOE JACKSON Target / Breaking Us In Two 45 RPM PROMO Record A6098 USD $2.95 (0 bids)
13h
Joe Jackson Body and Soul (CD, 1984) & Night and Day II (CD, 2000) VG cond. Joe Jackson Body and Soul (CD, 1984) & Night and Day II (CD, 2000) VG cond. USD $6.99 (0 bids)
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Blaze of Glory by Joe Jackson (Cassette 1989, A&M USA) Blaze of Glory by Joe Jackson (Cassette 1989, A&M USA) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 14h
Joe Jackson I'm The Man SEALED NEW LTD Edition 7 Joe Jackson I'm The Man SEALED NEW LTD Edition 7" Vinyl Record Box Set Poster USD $24.99 Buy It Now 15h
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JOE JACKSON'S JUMPIN' JIVE SP 4871 A&M Vinyl 12 JOE JACKSON'S JUMPIN' JIVE SP 4871 A&M Vinyl 12" LP-33 Jazz Album 1981 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 16h
JOE JACKSON LOOK SHARP USA CASSETTE TAPE JOE JACKSON LOOK SHARP USA CASSETTE TAPE USD $14.95 Buy It Now 16h
Joe Jackson/Stepping out / the Very Best of Joe Jackson (A&M 397 052-2) CD Album Joe Jackson/Stepping out / the Very Best of Joe Jackson (A&M 397 052-2) CD Album USD $14.68 Buy It Now 17h
JOE JACKSON  Night and Day  SP-4906 A & M Records VG+ JOE JACKSON Night and Day SP-4906 A & M Records VG+ USD $6.98 Buy It Now 17h
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JOE JACKSON - Right And Wrong - 1986 UK 7 JOE JACKSON - Right And Wrong - 1986 UK 7" Vinyl Single USD $6.24 Buy It Now 19h
Joe Jackson - Night & Day - Vinyl LP] Gatefold LP Jacket, 180 Gram - RECORD Joe Jackson - Night & Day - Vinyl LP] Gatefold LP Jacket, 180 Gram - RECORD USD $7.63 Buy It Now 19h
Joe Jackson Night And Day Gatefold 12 Joe Jackson Night And Day Gatefold 12" LP Vinyl 1st Press AMLH 64906 USD $5.00 (0 bids)
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Foreplay #26 Vinyl LP 1979 Record The Police Joe Jackson The Cramps w/ Booklet Foreplay #26 Vinyl LP 1979 Record The Police Joe Jackson The Cramps w/ Booklet USD $18.66 Buy It Now 19h
JOE JACKSON BAND - BEAT CRAZY, A & M, 1980, EX/EX , LP JOE JACKSON BAND - BEAT CRAZY, A & M, 1980, EX/EX , LP USD $6.19 Buy It Now 19h
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JOE JACKSON 'HOME TOWN' US 7 JOE JACKSON 'HOME TOWN' US 7" SINGLE USD $6.24 Buy It Now 20h
JOE JACKSON 'COSMOPOLITAN' UK PICTURE SLEEVE 7 JOE JACKSON 'COSMOPOLITAN' UK PICTURE SLEEVE 7" SINGLE USD $6.24 Buy It Now 20h
Album Vinyl Joe Jackson Body and Soul 1984 A&M SP-05000 Album Vinyl Joe Jackson Body and Soul 1984 A&M SP-05000 USD $6.87 Buy It Now 21h
VINYL 7 VINYL 7" SINGLE - JOE JACKSON - STEPPIN' OUT - AMS 8262 USD $8.74 Buy It Now 21h
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I'm The Man/Come On 7 I'm The Man/Come On 7" : Joe Jackson USD $5.00 Buy It Now 21h
Steppin' Out/Another World 7 Steppin' Out/Another World 7" : Joe Jackson USD $6.25 Buy It Now 21h
Joe Jackson - Jumpin' Jive (CD) Joe Jackson - Jumpin' Jive (CD) USD $8.74 Buy It Now 21h
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Joe Jackson, Be My Number Two ~ 1984 A&M promo 45 Joe Jackson, Be My Number Two ~ 1984 A&M promo 45 USD $2.77 Buy It Now 22h
Big World   by  Joe Jackson...CD...(In Yellow Smooth Edge Case) Big World by Joe Jackson...CD...(In Yellow Smooth Edge Case) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 22h
Night & Day 2 by Joe Jackson....CD Night & Day 2 by Joe Jackson....CD USD $6.95 Buy It Now 22h
Live 1980/86  By Joe Jackson.... 2 CD Set Live 1980/86 By Joe Jackson.... 2 CD Set USD $19.99 Buy It Now 22h
Heaven & Hell by  Joe Jackson...CD Heaven & Hell by Joe Jackson...CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now 22h
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joe jackson, im the man 1980 advert, poster size press advert joe jackson, im the man 1980 advert, poster size press advert USD $6.24 Buy It Now 22h
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JOE JACKSON - Look Sharp! (LP) (EX+/VG-) JOE JACKSON - Look Sharp! (LP) (EX+/VG-) USD $11.23 Buy It Now 23h
Joe Jackson-Steppin' Out CD NEW Joe Jackson-Steppin' Out CD NEW USD $7.16 Buy It Now 23h
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Joe Jackson - The Collection (CD 2001) Original CD Joe Jackson - The Collection (CD 2001) Original CD USD $6.25 Buy It Now 1 day
1979 EXCELLENT Joe Jackson Is She Really Going Out With Him/Instant Mash 2132 45 1979 EXCELLENT Joe Jackson Is She Really Going Out With Him/Instant Mash 2132 45 USD $3.13 Buy It Now 1 day
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JOE JACKSON Discography

JOE JACKSON albums / top albums

JOE JACKSON I'm The Man album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I'm The Man
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1979
JOE JACKSON Look Sharp! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Look Sharp!
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1979
JOE JACKSON Jumpin' Jive album cover 4.48 | 2 ratings
Jumpin' Jive
Jump Blues 1981
JOE JACKSON Night and Day album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Night and Day
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1982
JOE JACKSON Mike's Murder (The Motion Picture Soundtrack) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mike's Murder (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1983
JOE JACKSON Body and Soul album cover 3.02 | 2 ratings
Body and Soul
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1984
JOE JACKSON Will Power album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Will Power
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1987
JOE JACKSON Tucker: The Man And His Dream (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tucker: The Man And His Dream (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1988
JOE JACKSON Blaze of Glory album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blaze of Glory
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1989
JOE JACKSON Laughter & Lust album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Laughter & Lust
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1991
JOE JACKSON Night Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Music
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1994
JOE JACKSON Heaven & Hell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heaven & Hell
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1997
JOE JACKSON Symphony No. 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Symphony No. 1
Third Stream 1999
JOE JACKSON Night and Day II album cover 3.95 | 3 ratings
Night and Day II
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2000
JOE JACKSON Rain album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rain
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2008
JOE JACKSON The Duke album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Duke
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2012

JOE JACKSON EPs & splits

JOE JACKSON live albums

JOE JACKSON Big World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Big World
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1986
JOE JACKSON Live 1980-86 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live 1980-86
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1988
JOE JACKSON Summer In The City - Live In New York album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Summer In The City - Live In New York
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2000
JOE JACKSON Two Rainy Nights (Live In The Northwest - The Official Bootleg) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Two Rainy Nights (Live In The Northwest - The Official Bootleg)
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
JOE JACKSON At the BBC album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At the BBC
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2009
JOE JACKSON Live In Germany 1980 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Germany 1980
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2011
JOE JACKSON Live Music - Europe 2010 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Music - Europe 2010
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2011
JOE JACKSON Live at Rockpalast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Rockpalast
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2012

JOE JACKSON demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JOE JACKSON re-issues & compilations

JOE JACKSON Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1990
JOE JACKSON Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1996
JOE JACKSON This Is It: The A&M Years - 1979-1989 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is It: The A&M Years - 1979-1989
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1997
JOE JACKSON Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
JOE JACKSON The Collection album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
JOE JACKSON 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Jackson album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Jackson
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
JOE JACKSON The Ultimate Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2003
JOE JACKSON The Very Best of Joe Jackson album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of Joe Jackson
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2007
JOE JACKSON Tonight & Forever: The Joe Jackson Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tonight & Forever: The Joe Jackson Collection
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2007

JOE JACKSON singles (0)

JOE JACKSON movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Tokyo
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1988
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Steppin' Out - The Videos
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1990
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
25th Anniversary Special
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2002

JOE JACKSON Reviews

JOE JACKSON Night and Day II

Album · 2000 · Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Slartibartfast
Stories and the City.

My first encounter with Joe's music was Stepping Out (From the original Night And Day) on MTV. Didn't really move me to explore his music any further. When I finally did give the the original a listen a few years later, I really started to appreciate his song writing skills.

Night And Day one is basically a New York City themed album with nice musical diversity, as the city is, and so is Night And Day II.

It's basically a tribute to the city and the people who live there. All the songs are linked together making the album a single piece. It opens up with a short instrumental Prelude followed by a general tribute titletd Hell Of A Town. Having visited there a few times, I can attest to that.

Then on to the inhabitants with Stranger Than You. You might be pretty odd personally but...

"At 83rd and Amsterdam there's an Indian Jew Who pierced all his private parts with a permanent screw He sleeps on a bed of nails Which came from outer space And in my taller tales I gave him pride of place"

It's also about finding someone special amongst the especially odd.

Why has a nice exoctic ethnic feel to the music and is about an imigrant's point of view about the odd things you see compared to your familiar home country.

Glamour And Pain has a heavy disco flavor to it. A whore's point of view/story about a regular customer. Tosses in that piano riff from Stepping Out towards the end. Lead vocal by an actual drag queen.

Dear Mom. A boy looking for his sister who ran away and became a stripper. He finally finds her and she won't come home. Your left wondering if the son won't come back either.

Love Got Lost. Lead vocal by Marianne Faithful. Washed up old rich lady's lament.

Just Because... "you're paranoid, don't mean they're not out to get ya." A bit of an angry strings tune. "Need some non-alcoholic whiskey and Giuliani charm."

Happyland. About a fire in a Latin American night club and a couple. One made it out alive, the other didn't. Joe loves doing the salsa music.

Stay. "Here darkness never quite descends." Nice mellow wrap up to the suite.

It's a bit of a spooky album coming out not too long before you know what. Those now destroyed symbols of the city in a prominent spot of the cover. The city carries on. Joe is a wonderful composer and has put together a beautiful piece here.

JOE JACKSON Body and Soul

Album · 1984 · Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chicapah
After presenting an entirely different and somewhat zany side of his musical acumen to the world with his wild but incredibly fun “Jumpin’ Jive” big band jazz album in ’81 and then demonstrating remarkable maturity in his songwriting with his Cole Porter tribute record, “Night and Day,” that rose to #4 on the LP charts in ’82 Joe Jackson was no longer doomed to being forever pigeonholed as a New Wave/Punk troublemaker. True to form, in ’84 he went in yet another direction. Fed up with the spiritually-challenged, somewhat sterile sound that most of the modern recording studios of that era were offering he and producer David Kershenbaum found an old Masonic Lodge in New York that had been used primarily for taping symphonic sessions, set up his band of musicians in the predominantly stone-and-wood hall and captured the bulk of what made up “Body and Soul” with a minimum of overdubs. Therefore the album has a wonderfully warm, intimate aura you don’t find all that often these days but describing what kind of music it contains presents a dilemma for me. It’s kinda strange in a semi-fascinating way. Sorta. There’s a palpable traditional jazz flavor running through the whole record yet it veers off on so many odd tangents that labeling is impossible. Know what I’m sayin’? (Don’t fret if you don’t.)

Take the opener for instance. “The Verdict” is mostly a hybrid of pop and jazz but the song’s eclectic arrangement alternates between booming drums and grandiose brass that characterize the recurring theme and the contrast extended by the jazz piano-led, smoothly sung verses. It’s hard to convey precisely what goes on in this tune. So much so that it frustrates me to the point where I can’t even tell if I like it or not. I guess I’ll just call it unique and leave it at that. “Cha Cha Loco” is easier to figure out. Its self-evident rhythm dominates but there’s a cool and rarely-found Steely Dan-ish atmosphere surrounding this cut that makes its lure irresistible to me. Tony Aiello provides a suitable sax solo and the female background vocals of Ellen Foley and Elaine Caswell add flashy sparks. “Not Here, Not Now” is a ballad that sports a light bolero beat while Joe’s emotional, overwrought vocal performance lends the track unexpected tension. Michael Morreale’s flugelhorn ride is nicely done. Jackson scored a #15 hit single with “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want),” a catchy R&B-tinted song that cruises over a strong groove laid down by drummer Gary Burke and bassist Graham Maby while the hot horns give it some oomph. It’s fairly standard pop fare until the instrumental section arrives where Maby’s funky spasms and Vinnie Zummo’s jazzy guitar lead elevate the tune’s excitement quotient considerably.

“Go For It” is downright weird. It’s an up-tempo ensemble number that would be right at home on a Broadway stage, performed by a large cast of “Glee” wannabes. The striking horn section of Aiello, Morreale and Jackson are effective but I really don’t know what to think about this queer duck that flies in from left field. Luckily Joe doesn’t linger in la-la land for long but gets ambitious with the next tune, an instrumental called “Loisaida.” It’s a bold mixture of contemporary and classical ideas that is anything but predictable. The highly-dynamic middle segment is very interesting and the overall ambience of this adventurous piece leaves you with a sense that Jackson is an explorer at heart. “Happy Ending” follows and if you think of a less-aggressive, Meatloaf-styled theatrical song you’ll come closer to envisioning what it’s about. Having said that, the chord progression is unorthodox for this kind of over-the-top deal and the rich saxophones give it a touch of nostalgic class. On “Be My Number Two” Joe chooses to limit most of the tune to being sparsely projected by his lone piano and vocal. The stark approach works well and he presents his best vocal on the album at this juncture. He keeps it very simple until the large ending bursts in with loud drums and a brash saxophone melody not unlike what Bruce Springsteen was doing with the E Street Band at the time. He finishes the record with one of its more arresting tracks, the mostly instrumental “Heart of Ice.” It begins quietly, then slowly builds using subtle sax and flute lines before strident drums pull it to its feet and goads it into evolving into an intriguing big band jazz number. Zummo tosses in some energetic jazz licks on his guitar as Jackson and his two-girl crew of crooners inject densely-packed harmonies. It’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill schlock, that’s for sure, but then nothing on this disc is.

While “Body and Soul” isn’t something I listen to very often I’m always taken aback by its uncompromised audacity when I do. Keep in mind that this was 1984 when the awful MTV virus was doing everything it could to dumb down music and its assorted lovers by forcing it into 3-minute live action cartoons for cable TV viewers to fixate on. By freely utilizing jazz inflections and colorings in this collection of eccentric songs Joe Jackson was bucking the trend towards stifling conformity and he should be commended for doing so. I still don’t know if I actually like this album or not but I’m glad I have it in my musical library. I never know when the urge to hear something from off the beaten path will strike me and this more than satisfies that infrequent yen.

JOE JACKSON Jumpin' Jive

Album · 1981 · Jump Blues
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Chicapah
Every music addict who willfully indulges in the lifelong hobby of collecting albums has on their shelves a few records that stand out because they’re unlike anything else in their entire assemblage. Speaking for myself, there are several that fit that categorization within the various genres I’ve become attached to over the decades. In the branch of my library where the jazz discs dwell one of those unique platters is Joe Jackson’s “Jumpin’ Jive.” I wouldn’t have sprung for one of his albums considering the gauche New Wave material he’d made his reputation creating during the late 70s but I happened to hear one of this record’s scintillating cuts on the radio one day and was so smitten with it that I knew I had to have it. Joe’s liner notes offer a fair description of the kind of music it contains. “When my Dad was my age, jazz was not respectable. It played in whorehouses, not Carnegie Hall. These classics of jump, jive and swing are all from the 40s.” He goes on to point out that songs performed in disreputable joints by the likes of Cab Calloway, Lester Young and, in particular, Louis Jordan are featured and that their music was never aimed at pleasing purists or jazz fans, just those who want to listen and enjoy. “Reap this righteous riff,” he adds. In quoting Mr. Calloway, I couldn’t have said it better.

Actually, I beg to differ on one matter. I think jazz fans who don’t already know about this album will LOVE this stuff and be very pleased about discovering it. This isn’t just a gathering of flimsy, cute nostalgia being laid down by this ensemble. That dank, restrictive label makes me think of things hokey or corny. Not so here. These tunes were hip when they were new and they’ll still be hip a century from now because they’re timeless. The story goes that Jackson had burned out trying to be a rock star and decided to do something radical. Like putting a big band outfit together to record obscure yet kick ass songs from circa WWII in an era when a market for such an undertaking didn’t even exist. In the early 80s there was no “retro” trend happening. Furthermore, in that age when edgy punk fashion was all the rage, the group picture on the back of the LP cover was anything but in-vogue. The seven white-shirt-and-loud-tie-clad guys standing in the photo look more like the nerdy dudes from your high school chess club than rebels out to deflower your kid sister. But I gotta tell you, this is one of the most exciting platters I own and it never fails to intrigue my senses and brighten my mood each time I give it a spin. These boys mean business yet they sound like they’re having the time of their lives and that aspect alone is worth savoring.

Jackson couldn’t have picked a more representative number to open with than Lester Young’s “Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid.” Graham Maby’s walking bass line drives this bluesy big band jazz piece relentlessly on this, the first of twelve very special tracks they have in store for you. “Jack, You’re Dead” follows and here the group is as tight as a rusty water pump in the Sahara. This ditty swings hard and all the horn players take turns contributing sizzling solos. Louis Jordan’s “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” is next and this is the tune that fished me in hook, line and sinker when I heard it on the radio. Its irresistible refrain is the equivalent of catnip to any jazz feline worth his/her salt and I dare you to give it a listen and not want to hear it again immediately. Joe’s subtle vibes add a classy touch and Raul Oliviera’s trumpet ride is striking. Cab Calloway’s “We The Cats (Shall Hep Ya)” is one of those thrilling call-and-response deals between Jackson and the band members that flat knocks me out. It’s the type of song that makes you feel like you’re lucky enough to be sitting in a smoky nightclub on an evening when the musicians are locked firmly “in the pocket” and can do no wrong. Pete Thomas’ alto saxophone lead is exceptionally hot.

The slower pace of “San Francisco Fan” sets up a sultry background for Joe’s melodramatic delivery of Calloway’s dastardly tale of woe. Oliviera’s muted trumpet matches the mood sublimely. You’d best buckle your seat belt for “Five Guys Named Moe” because this light-speed number will rip you a new one but you won’t mind due to your inability to wipe the grin off your mug while it whizzes through your ear canals. The splendid drumming provided by Larry Tolfree is exquisite from start to finish. “Jumpin’ Jive” is just plain fun as the boys in the band shout with glee in answer to Jackson’s urgings. Dave Bitteli’s tenor sax ride is spot on. Their rendition of Louie Armstrong’s “You Run Your Mouth (And I’ll Run My Business)” is greatness. I so respect that they don’t veer away from their goal of staying true to the essence of these tunes and their consistency in maintaining that noble approach is formidable. Jordan’s “What’s the Use of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again)” follows and the sleazy feel they bequeath upon this novelty song fits like a well-worn boot. The spoken-word sections are a little goofy but they’re not attempting to be hip, they’re just telling it the way it was in the 40s. The intricate horn lines involved in “You’re My Meat” are fascinating and the individual performances are excellent. Their raucous version of “Tuxedo Junction” is remarkable. This unusual take on the Glenn Miller standard is led by Nick Weldon’s expressive piano and Maby’s steady-as-a-rock upright bass work. The arrangement is perfection in that it allows for an honorable tribute to be paid to the original while it retains the group’s own charismatic personality that can’t be ignored. They end with “How Long Must I Wait For You.” This stellar, upbeat number is an appropriate way to bring this exhilarating train trip back in time to a proper conclusion. Tolfree’s short but explosive drum solo is a major treat and the band’s fat, noisy finale is like the cherry placed on top of a chocolate sundae.

If you don’t have any specimens of jazzy swing and jump blues in your stacks then you need to procure a copy of this album ASAP. The clever song titles alone should prick your interest! I’m pretty sure this was a one-time venture for Joe Jackson, completed in an effort to preserve a lot of phenomenal music he adored and to save the legacy of black big band leaders like Louis Jordan from sinking tragically into total oblivion. I’m extremely glad he did it because this album is a blast. Not only are the tunes terrific but the unadulterated joy that emanates from this dedicated group of musicians is something not found all that often and it makes listening to them ply their craft a delightful experience that doesn’t grow stale over the years. It’s the kind of record you could play for anyone and tell them unequivocally, “Now, this is what is meant by COOL!”

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