I released “T’s Jam” as a single on October 25, 2021, and I’m elated to share it with the world because it captures the essence of my joyous personality and musicality. Mixed by industry Midas Darren Rahn and promoted by Gorov Music Marketing, it’s a funky smooth jazz tune with a kick. The gospel organ lays the foundation before the band spirals into an all-out jam!
Update: “T’s Jam” spent 16 weeks on Smooth Jazz Network’s Top 100 peaking at #54, #1 on Groove Jazz Music’s Most Added, and #4 on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Most Added!
Here’s an interview I did with Bryan Atkinson about the song.
Bryan: Tell me how the composition came about, the original ideas.
Eldon “T” Jones: Well, the melody just came to my head one day, and so what I did was I sat down at the keyboard and put some chords around the melody or where I felt like it was going. And so that’s how it came together. I always kind of write from how I’m feeling in the moment. So that was how I was feeling, and it came straight from my heart.
When did you write it?
Man, it was several years ago, but this is the first time I really did something with it as far as, “Hey, you know what? This song that I wrote all this time ago—let’s record it and release it.”
How did you bring the song to your band and collaborators?
Well when I came to rehearsal, I just kind of played so they could feel and hear where I was going, and then I sat down at the keyboard and hammered out some chords for my keyboard player. He just basically added some spice and flavor to what I was hearing, and then we just kind of put the other instruments around it to kind of compliment the feel, to bring life out of the song.
What makes this song especially your jam over all the other original songs you jam on?
I don’t know where that came from—if I named it “T’s Jam.” I almost feel like maybe it was my brother (drummer Anthony Jones) that wrote “T’s Jam” down when we started actually recording. I don’t think we actually had a title for it, but I think when we were doing it my brother just started writing down “T’s Jam” for his notes, and then I was like, “Oh yeah, that sounds right since I wrote it. Let’s go with “T’s Jam” because it’s kind of a movin’ and groovin’ song. If I remember right, I think that’s how it came together.
Where did you record the bulk of the song?
My brother has a recording studio with some great equipment. We just went right in and recorded everything live. We went back and did some production things to it, but the whole song, basically, the foundation of it was recorded live [with the whole band].
Would you record live again?
It just depends on what we’re doing, the song. Some songs, they really sound better live. I’m a person who grew up in the live band era, so there’s something special about the sound of the live band. I’ve always felt more comfortable in that setting.
So what specifically was added to the song later in the process?
I went back and tracked some horn parts, horn section saxes, I played soprano, alto, and tenor parts. I brought in a friend to track trumpet for some of those hits. Then we also just added some more keyboard stuff to bring color.
How have people responded to live performances of the song?
This one is definitely one of those tunes that comes right out of the gate with the hits that grab people into it. Some of the energy can be spontaneous as far as where the creativity is added through the solos. It seems to be one of those songs kinda driving that continues to grab people as we perform it live.
How does the artwork for the single relate to the song?
Since the song is certainly an expression from me, I let my son, who is also an artist, hear it, and so while he was listening to the song, he created some art of how he was feeling in the moment, kind of a rough sketch. Then he polished it up, finished it, and I felt like it was really nice and captured in the form of art what I was actually creating.
If this is someone’s introduction to your music, what would you hope they take away about you and your musicianship from “T’s Jam”?
I would like my listeners to feel the music more so than actually hear it if that makes any sense. I want them to hear it, but I really want them to feel it.
Composer: Eldon “T” Jones
Producer: Eldon “T” Jones
Co-producer: Anthony Jones
Additional Production: Christopher Turner
Recording Engineer: Anthony Jones
Mixing Engineer: Darren Rahn
Mastering Engineer: Steve Hall (Future Disc)
Editing: Austin Fraiser
Artwork: Eldon Jones III
Additional Design: Jonathan Schuler
Executive Producer: Eldon “T” Jones
Publisher Eldon “T” Jones Music/BMI
Featured by: Chocolate Radio in Kansas City, MO, Smooth Jazz Life, Local Roots Music NW in Salem/Portland, OR, Cool Jazz Café in Sun City West, AZ
I joined my friend Yugen Rashad on KBOO 90.3 fm in Portland “The Motif: Re-Imagine a Jazz Sensibility” to interview jazz great Kenny Garrett.
I had the pleasure of joining Bridgette Lewis for Coffee Talk Jazz on Instagram Live: