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Progressive Rock Interviews

Percy Jones

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Percy Jones from 2016
You've recently been involved in a project called "MJ12." What can you tell us about that?
MJ12 started out as a casual improvisation project with drummer Steve Moses and myself. We would book a gig in a small venue (usually in Brooklyn) and invite a guest to sit in. There is no shortage of good players in Brooklyn, so the results were often quite good. After a while we started using Chris Bacas and Dave Phelps on a regular basis. We also started to make the music more structured with some composition, but still a lot of room inside for players to improvise. After numerous gigs in small clubs and dive bars we decided it had shaped up enough to record. So last summer we recorded it over a weekend in a Manhattan studio. The record came out a couple of months ago on Gonzo.
You've also been participating in a Brand X reunion. What is the story about that?
The opportunity came up to reunite. John Goodsall, Kenwood Dennard and myself got together in New York with Chris Clark and Scott Weinberger to see what sort of  potential we had.  At that point we had not a made any definite plans. It sounded pretty good, so we decided to continue rehearsing and setting up a short US tour. We're doing material from the first three CDs, which were recorded almost 40 years ago. I hadn't listened to a lot of the stuff in 30 years, let alone played it, so it was a bit of a memory challenge. But it's shaping up nicely, and the band still has balls, so I think it's going to be good.
Do you have any other irons in the musical fire at the moment?
Well, I'm always trying to think of new stuff to do. I just finished a track for Richard Barbieri, which I think is for another solo album he is doing. Another keyboardist, Dean De Benedictis has a record coming out soon on which I think I play on three tracks
What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
I haven't bought a CD in so long I honestly can't remember what the last one was. The most recent one I listened to was Chris Whitley's  Living with the Law. I also listened to some Daniel Lanois solo stuff. I don't remember the titles, though.
Have you read any good books lately?
The last book I read was The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects by Edward J Rupelt
What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Magma,  a couple of years ago.
Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Just hope that democracy rules.






MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at
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