Jonesy was a British prog outfit that released 3 albums in the ’70s. Lead by singer/guitarist John Evan-Jones, the band released their classic debut album No Alternative in 1972. The line-up here consisted of Jones, along with American born keyboardist James Kaleth, drummer Jim Payne, and bass player Dave Paull. Both Paull and Payne had previously been in National Head Band with Lee Kerslake (pre Uriah Heep), Paull would also play on Ken Hensley’s Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf album. Anyway, No Alternative is perhaps the band’s most sought after record, featuring the band’s best know track “Ricochet”. It also featured stand-out cuts like “Mind Of The Century”, the wild epic title track, and the ballad “Heaven”. Four of the cuts on the debut clock in at (near) 8 minutes or longer! No Alternative takes up disc one, and includes the short instrumental “Reprise” added on.
By the time the band recorded their 2nd album John Evan-Jones remained, along with Kaleth, and joining them were Jones’ brother – Trevor, on bass, Plug Thomas on drums (Thomas had brief spells with Screaming Lord Sutch and Supertramp), and Alan Bown on trumpet and percussion. Ray Russell was also brought in to do some orchestral arranging. 1973’s Keeping Up was much more laid back, with more emphasis on vocals, harmonies, keyboards, flutes, strings… gone are the heavy guitar pieces. But some fine songs in “Masquerade”, “Questions And Answers”, and the ballad “Song”, which should made a good single. Disc 2 adds the single version of “Ricochet” and it’s B-side “Every Day’s The Same”. Disc 3 comprises of the band’s last album released in late 1973 – Growing, as well as the band’s final album Sudden Prayers Make God Jump. The latter was never released until years later from a cassette, but here it is taken (as are all the albums) from the original master tapes. Growing featured most of the same line-up, and producer Rupert Hine was brought in as well. This album was more upbeat from the previous album, with tracks like “Can You Get That Together?”, “Know Who Your Friends Are”, and the title track. The band’s final album Sudden Prayers Make God Jump (who comes up with these titles?) featured a new line-up. Joining the Jones bothers were drummer David Potts, keyboard player Ken Elliott (ex of Second Hand, and later played with Arthur Brown), and Bernard Hagley on sax & flute (he had played on Growing, and previously Tranquility). This last album is probably the band’s most experimental, lots of different instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and unique songs, kinda rivalling some of the stuff Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come was doing in the early ’70s. Jonesy were a very overlooked gem of the British prog scene of the early ’70s; none of their albums would get released in North America and they contained no big hits, but are well worth checking out through this CD box set. *Comes with a 16 page colored booklet, with liner notes penned by Mark Powell.