Ashton Jones is one of the UK’s finest new funk/soul vocalists and songwriters. This is no mean feat. This scholar of the funk and gospel rooted soul is rapidly blowing up the spot every time he and his band take a stage.
With a live show reminiscent of James Brown and the JB’s, The Ashton Jones Project is fast becoming a phenomenon. Having already supported the likes of Shalamar and Incognito things are just warming up. A self-titled EP was released earlier in 2019 and debut album Toast finds itself onto the release schedule this year as well.
This is an urgent debut record, which eases itself into a pantheon of great sounding soul records from the realms of Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Parliament and more contemporary voices like Anthony Hamilton and Frank McCombe.
With original songwriting from this young and gifted man from Suffolk, he confidently strides with ease around some hard hitting funk tracks like ‘Shelley, Get The Funk Outta Here!’ to ‘Good Thing Guaranteed’ to fully charged ‘Wah Wah’ and ‘Hard Work Dedication’. These are just a few from the eleven tracks, which also include a hilarious skit and a lush instrumental.
Those classic soulful vibes first captured in the 70s are all safely in good hands as Ashton Jones blazes through an album nodding with deference yet original in tone to Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Rick James and Prince. This is a throwback style rarely seen on this side of the Atlantic. Ashton not only delivers soulful melodies, gritty funk and sparks of falsetto with an audience captivating brand of energy, flare and musicianship. He quite literally owns them with an assured humility around the greatness with which he is blessed.
With Amazon already choosing Ashton Jones to front a number of their recent TV commercials, this is a voice we will fortunately continue to hear for many generations to come.
Toast is released on September 13th and The Ashton Jones Project are next performing at the following. If you get the chance, see them and listen to this record. Your life will vastly improve.
31st Oct – Kansas Smitty’s, London
13th Nov – Cambridge Jazz Festival, Cambridge Junction