My Awarded Projects
Darius Jones is a critically acclaimed alto saxophonist and composer who joined the New York music community in 2005. In the last decade, he has amazed and inspired musicians and audiences from widely divergent backgrounds with his meticulously honed musical gifts. Soul-power is at his foundation; forward-looking expression always at the core. He was signed to AUM Fidelity Records in February 2009 and already has a string of diverse recordings, including his 2009 debut as a leader, Man’ish Boy (A Raw and Beautiful Thing) and Cosmic Lieder, an intergenerational partnership with pianist Matthew Shipp, which came out in early 2011.
He has collaborated with artists including Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host, Oliver Lake, William Parker’s Essence of Ellington, Trevor Dunn’s Proof Readers, Cooper-Moore, Eric Revis Quartet, Nasheet Waits Equality Band, Tarbaby, Branford Marsalis, Andrew Cyrille, Jason Moran, Kris Davis, and many more. Commissioned by John Zorn, Jones recently lead a week-long residency at NYC’s The Stone, showcasing the diverse and prolific offering of his compositions and ensembles.
Jones was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette in 2008, which he used to launch his chamber ensemble, the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice. Roulette continued their support for Jones’ work through a Jerome Foundation Commission, and he was a Jerome Artist-in-Residence when the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit premiered his vocal composition, The Oversoul Manual, in the Spring of 2014. Jones made his compositional debut at Carnegie Hall with The Oversoul Manual in October of 2014. Later that same month, the official recording of The Oversoul Manual was released by AUM Fidelity. Jones was nominated in 2013 for Alto Saxophonist of the Year, and for Up & Coming Artist of the Year two years in a row for the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. Also in 2013, he was awarded the French-American Jazz Exchange grant for a collaboration with French vocalist Emilie Lesbros, which culminated in the album Le bebe de Brigitte (Lost in Translation), released in August 2015. Jones was one of Jazz Times’ Debut Artists of the Year for 2009 and his 2012 release, Book of Mæ’bul (Another Kind of Sunrise), was listed among NPR’s Best Top 10 Jazz Albums of that year.”Jones speaks through his alto in an original and unforced language,” writes DownBeat’s Joe Tangari. Critics have called him “robustly creative” (Nate Chinen, New York Times) and “one of NYC’s most incisive and passionate saxists” (Time Out New York). AllAboutJazz.com reviewer Troy Collins writes, “Jones has set the stage for a winning series of albums designed to document his rise as one of the most impressive and unique voices of our time.”
From The Oversoul Manual, Track 11
The Oversoul Manual is an a cappella work comprised of 15 pieces performed by his vocal quartet, The Elizabeth-Caroline Unit (featuring the great vocal talents of Amirtha Kidambi, Sarah Martin, Jean-Carla Rodea, and Kristin Slipp), it utilizes a new language / compositional approach fully created by Darius Jones. The album is both an elemental part of Jones’ Mani’sh Boy mythology and a fully illuminated / radical expression of his profound love for the voice, which remains at the foundation of Darius’ singularly potent creative life.