Under the Influence \\ Singer-songwriter Jono McCleery on his favourite jazz albums

Culturally, Jono McCleery‘s music is a cross over between various scenes; singer-songwriter, jazz, alternative pop are all tags you could attach to your posts about his new album Seeds of a Dandelion. His output, with soaring falsettos and touching lyrics, is almost incomparable.

Applying himself to new album—named after a line from Atoms For Peace track Ingenue—McCleery reveals a side of himself that experiments with popular culture. Amongst original tracks, expect takes on classics from across the popular music spectrum from Beyonce to Billie Holiday.

To celebrate the release of his album via Counter Records, we took Jono McCleery Under the Influence to find out his five favourite jazz records of all time.

Jon Lucien \\ Rashida

I’ve always been drawn to singers who exhibit great warmth in their voice and Jon’s voice has an unusual richness which when he harmonises with himself is almost overwhelming. I love his backing vocal arrangements which at times sound improvised and take over the narrative of the songs. Ultimately it’s the feeling of resolution that washes over the album which reminds me never to forget it.

Gabor Szabo \\ Dreams

A fan recently put me onto this album from 1968 and I instantly fell for it. It reminds me of some of those great jazz albums you discover because A Tribe Called Quest sampled them. He playfully weaves different genres together and spoils you with his grooves, particularly in the opener Galatea’s Guitar and The Lady on the Moon which are my personal favourites.

Joao Gilberto \\ Joao Gilberto

One of my go to albums. Much like Nick Drake in his understated writing and playing, I love the subtle percussion on this record. Gilberto’s career has been incredible, playing with Antonio Jobim amongst other various singers and instrumentalists. But with its calming intimacy and lack of production thrills this album is probably my highlight of his output.

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

We all know about Coltrane but not many people know about Hartman, and being the only singer John ever collaborated with is quite an accolade. It’s so great to hear the quartet holding back and Hartman’s baritone voice lead. You can almost hear the respect they all have for each other in the restraint of their performances.

Vince Guaraldi Trio \\ A Charlie Brown Christmas

Having just got through Christmas again I couldn’t help but include this album. It’s a great way to counter some of the more predictable music which gets over-played at this time of year. Just a touch of improvisation warms the compositions up and lets the playfulness and romance out. I imagine Chile Gonzales as a child taking notes, and envy the generation that got to grow up watching cartoons to this music.

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