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Billy Jenkins

Listening Club
 
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RECENT NEWS!!.....

Billy Takes Over BBC R3........!
Spring Is A'Coming.....!
You Too Can Play Billy!

Recording Billy Changed My Life!
Billy Snaps...!!
Into 2017....!

OLDER NEWS!!..........

A Festive Tale - And Charlie Hart Speaks!
BBC Music Jazz Radio 'Greatest Ever Jazz Albums' Puts Billy At #36!!
Classic 'True Love Collection' Album Relaunched As Download
Exciting New Billy Podcast Series Begins!

TIMELESS NEWS!!........

In Depth All About Jazz Analysis!
The Billy Jenkins Webzine
The War Of Jenkins’ Ear(phones)!
The 'Financial Times' Lauds Billy!

On Another Planet!
Hear Billy Live On BBC R4!

NEWS ARCHIVE!!........

One Step On  from the Blues....Austerity Aural Art.....Jenkins Hanging Round Pub Toilets.....Billy with Ginger Baker CD emerges...'Jazz Gives me The Blues' an Album of the Year 2011....Billy with Arthur Smith on BBC R4....... ..Glasgow Herald feature......Hysteria, Fear & Live Music.....BBC Ban Billy.......BBC Apologise To Billy......and much more.

Access the News Archive by spanking your mouse here!

 



Buy the Billy Blues Bonanza Bundle!

Blues Bonanza

2 x CD plus live in concert DVD only £19.99 (inc. p+p)!



The Billy Jenkins

Calling Card Collection

Billy Jenkins Calling Card
                                Collection

 A collectable 3 CD series!!




Billy Takes Over BBC R3........!


Billy presents a Mixtape
Beowulf Mayfield catches Billy with a curio.....


Yes! It's true!

Mr Jenkins has been given the honour of presenting his own Mixtape on R3's cutting edge 'Late Junction'!

Well, to be honest, it's on at midnight and only for 30 minutes but, being Billy, you can be assured of an entertaining (and hopefully moving) half hour!

Together with his long time producer Tony Messenger, he decided to attempt, within those 30 minutes, six decades of music and sound influences......

It's being broadcast at midnight on Thursday 27th April and then available
online, for a short period, to listen on catch up.


Sounds unmissable!

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Spring Is A'Coming.....!


Arrival Of The Tourists photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

And with it, come the tourists...!

Photographer Beowulf Mayfield creates another marvellous 'Music Sn-app' with 'Arrival Of The Tourists', from the 1985 critically acclaimed vinyl album
'Greenwich'.

Personnel and album details here!

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You Too Can Play Billy!


Brilliant music


If you are a bandleader, a music teacher, run a jazz band workshop or lead a music ensemble – why not consider playing the music of Billy Jenkins!?

Find out more here !

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Recording Billy Changed My Life!


No brakes.....
No brakes....!                                                                  Photos: Beowulf Mayfield


Billy's long time recording engineer and producer,Tony Messenger (pictured on the left), is featured on the latest Listening Club 'snap-cast' podcast - where he not only explains how working with Billy changed his life, but how it reminded him of careering downhill in his old Volkswagon with no brakes!




And, judging by the colour scheme of his latest Beetle, it was heck of a 'trip'!

Enjoy the ride here !


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Billy Snaps...!!


Billy Lips
Button your lips, Billy!                          Photo: Beowulf Mayfield


Presenter Beowulf Mayfield and Billy Jenkins get in a bit of a ding-dong on their latest 'snap-cast' podcast, as 'Sade's Lips' and 'smooth jazz' create a two way schism for listeners!

Enjoy eight minutes of confused listening - and other previous 'snap-casts' here!

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Into 2017....!

Listening Club


As this technological age increasingly bemuses and confuses many, we at Billy.com can assure readers that the guitarist and composer continues along the slippery and ever narrowing path of free thinking creativity!

Whilst the world wide web slowly catches up with the recent download release of the True Love Collection, coming up in the first two months of this new year will be three more new podcasts, presented by Beowulf Mayfield - the next one now online here!

I Lock The
                                  Back Door
'I Lock The Back Door'.........

The podcasts, or, as Wulfie likes to call them, in keeping with his photographic interests, 'snap-casts' -  are an excellent accompaniment to the joys of Billy's recorded oeuvre.

And, with the guitarist's live performances now seemingly consigned to memory and history, these short radio shows let folks hear the man himself (and some of his collaborators)
speak in an up to date setting.

 You can enjoy the Billy Jenkins Listening Club podcasts here!

Thank you for listening!

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A Festive Tale - And Charlie Hart Speaks!

Light Of The Blues

Inspired by Billy's music (and, more's point, the wonderful musicians he plays with), photographer Beowulf Mayfield has created a special Low Season Festive Tale for your entertainment!

Spank the photo or the link here now!


Meanwhile, with another of one of his many creative hats on, Beowulf has been round to Equator Studios to interview long time Billy musician and  producer Charlie Hart.

Charlie Hart

This interview is Episode 3 of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club 'snap-casts' - an occasional series of short podcasts that offer a unique aural insight into Billy' music and modus.

Whack that mouse here - d'yer hear!?

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BBC Music Jazz Radio 'Greatest Ever Jazz Albums' Puts Billy At #36!!


BBC Music Jazz Top 50 albums


As part of the 2016 EFG London Jazz Festival, the BBC and Jazz FM ran a five day pop up 24 hour digital radio station.

Four programmes were dedicated to The 50 Greatest Jazz Albums, as nominated by the jazz community - including BBC and Jazz FM presenters, jazz musicians, critics and journalists.

And, in amongst jazz legends like Benny Goodman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and many other 'greats' - up popped Mr Jenkins and his 1998 release 'True Love Collection'!

Listed as the 36th Best Ever Jazz Album!!!

A fitting tribute to all the brilliant musicians that contributed to the
'True Love Collection'!

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Classic 'True Love Collection' Album Relaunched As Download!


TLC


NOMINATED BY THE BBC AS ONE OF THE
TOP 50 GREATEST JAZZ ALBUMS EVER !!!


Originally released as a CD album in 1998 and
en route back to the blues and his guitar playing roots, BJ started the reverse trend by exploring Seventies Pop tunes.

Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Martin France, Dave Ramm, Christine Tobin, Steve Watts, The Fun Horns of Berlin and others weave their unique skills over 'Mellow Yellow', 'Everybody's Talkin', 'Feeling Groovy', 'How Deep Is Your Love', 'Sunny' and other imitation paste gems.

When the album was originally released, the respected comedian, writer and long time Billy Listener Stewart Lee interviewed the guitarist for a Sunday Times article.
It tells you all you need to know - and you can read it here!

Now available from iTunes or your favourite download site!

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Exciting New Billy Podcast Series Begins!

Billy Listening Club


A new experience in webcasting has arrived! The Billy Jenkins Listening Club podcast!
 
Presented by Beowulf "Wulfie" Mayfield, who, apart from being a wonderful photographer (amongst many other talents) and someone with 'history' when it comes to creative podcasting, you'll be able to enjoy Billy's occasional thoughts on music, the world and life in general piped direct to your laptop, tablet, smartphone , or whatever you have that's capable of playing an mp3 sound file - you don't need an iPod!

The first episode is on iTunes or you can hear it by visiting here.

Here's the obligatory promotional video trailer...

Listening Club YouTube promo

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In
Depth All About Jazz Analysis!




An excellent overview on Billy's recorded work is now online at allaboutjazz.com.

Comprehensively penned by that most astute writer Roger Farbey, the 1,500 word article pretty much covers the guitarist's recorded output over the last thirty six years.

Spank that link now to enjoy Mr Farbey's excellent writing!

And then perhaps add a pithy comment!

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The Billy Jenkins Webzine




With 2016 being Billy's 60th year, we at billy.com have been having some fun sprucing up Ian Bolton's beautifully built 'digital cavern of curios and Billy-ness'!

Music activist, promoter and writer Ian started the Webzine towards the end of the last century.

Although it's been pretty much a locked site for several years, this impressive labour of love contains a treasure trove of Billy-ness - all created to increase your enjoyment and understanding of his work over the last four decades and counting....

  • Find out just how many musicians Billy has been compared to....
  • Just what did the guitarist do to get chased out of Bilbao...?
  • Enjoy thoughtful and learned essays on Billy's work by musician Richard Russell...
  • Pick apart epic verbatim interviews by respected anthropologist Matthew Engelke and painter Maxwell Jay and others...
  • Read public Vox Pop response to some of Billy's artistic rants.....
  • And much, much more!

An 'old school' web page layout and deliberately designed as a 'get lost in' site,
there is now a page looking at the sixteen years of Big Fights!

Punch your mouse now!

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The War Of Jenkins’ Ear(phones)!
 

Billy Jenkins War of Jenkins Ear
Ear today, gone tomorrow....? © Steve Morrison
 

A new recently released download album highlights the marginalisation of musicians in this technological age.

The nuances composers and tunesmiths bring to their art is rendered impotent by digital sound which is more often these days relayed through narrow audio range earphones.

‘To truly appreciate the power of music’, says 57 year old guitarist and composer Billy Jenkins, ‘it has to be a whole body experience. It needs air to breathe. Headphones offer no more than reference – much like a post card of an oil painting.’

Jenkins, over the last thirty years, has written his critically acclaimed gloriously idiosyncratic jazz and blues tinged music especially for the sound carrying medium.

Certain things recorded music lovers may not know:

Vinyl  - did you know that there is less bass frequency as the groove nears the centre of the disc? On his 1988 vinyl album ‘Motorway At Night’ he actually incorporated ‘surface noise at motorway exit’, by widening the groove during the disc mastering). 

Cassette - was the consumer ever aware that no tape machine ran at exactly the same speed? Jenkins underlined his introduction to the 1993 première at the National Sound Archives of his ‘Actual Reality - Music For Two Cassette Machines’ by stating that ‘no playback is ever the same’ – he had composed it building in a plus or minus 10% speed and pitch variation).

CD – the wider than vinyl frequency range has meant that two many albums mastered for CD have been mastered at such a volume, the compression necessary to iron out highs and lows reduces the emotional resonance. Mr Jenkins’ many CD releases have minimal compression.

Digital sound – it has been said that ‘analogue recording approximates perfection. Whereas digital recording perfects approximation’.

Digital processing - arbitrarily ‘takes’ what it wants of the sound source. Music made wholly by machines works well in the digital domain. But when it comes to music where every single note comes from the heart, hand and ear of the player – chip technology just doesn’t ‘get it’.

So, as social and economic lifestyles evolve at high speed, how does the musician reinstate their art?

For Jenkins, it means bringing out an unreleased album he recorded nearly twenty years ago.

These days, after a lifetime on and off the road and in and out of the recording studio, leaving him with an intense dislike of travel and a sensitivity to noise, he now scratches a living creating and conducting humanist funerals (‘nothing’s changed really’, the guitarist notes dryly, ‘I stand up in front of folks and they all start crying..’).

Uneasy with the sound of digital download, Jenkins feels that the album ‘The Semi-Detached  Suburban Home – Music For Low Strung Guitar’ (VOTP Records) is actually one that works on tinny headphones.

Captured in close microphone by long time Jenkins producer and engineer Tony Messenger, listening to it, one becomes the musician – every nuance can be heard - wire, wood, skin, nail and breath – all thrown into silence to create invisible audio images of everyday household objects and events.

‘We, the music creators, need to make folks understand, ‘states Jenkins, ‘that trendy coloured headphones are just fashion accessories. 
And by using them, especially when out in public, you are not only tempering the wonder of the world around you, but also consigning the wonder of music and musicians to history. 
And just like Neil Young and many other musicians have stated, I too agree that Apple, who led the digital revolution with their iPod, stand guilty of helping to destroy the spirituality of music. 
And with it, musicians’ livelihoods and purpose’.
 

Semi-Detached House CD

TheSemi-detached Suburban Home
(Music for Low Strung Guitar)

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The 'Financial Times' Lauds Billy!
 

Billy Jenkins Lewisham Clock Tower
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion roars 
tonight...                                 ©Steve Morrison
 

We have no shame in continuing to flag up an article about Mr Jenkins and his work which appeared in the prestigious Financial Times in November 2010.

Written with depth, great sensitivity and understanding by fellow musician and writer Mike Hobart, it is very flattering that Billy was chosen as one of only two artists to be previewed for the London Jazz Festival - the other musician was jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

It is delightfully ironic that a man for whom commerce, marketing and business remain 'black arts' should be worthy of such microscopic attention by one of the world's leading financial newspapers.....

You can enjoy Mr Hobart's writing here.

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On Another Planet!

Billy Jenkins Planet Browny
Three rakes...

Mr Jenkins is currently in the habit of apologising to to interested live promoters saying that he is 'unable to accept your kind offer as I am fully focused on a distant journey to Planet Recording, Planet Marketing and Planet Conducting Humanist Funerals...'

So how come he's landed on the Youtube Planetbrowny page? 

Browny teased lots of little 'out of this world' thoughts from Mr J. in his secret garden and there are four short clips posted on YouTube.:

1. Browny Meets Billy Jenkins
2. When Did You Leave Heaven?
3. On White Van Man
4. On Composing

Billy Jenkins with Planet Browny
Two tools...

Planetbrowny is 'one man’s quest for the ultimate waste of time…because wasting time is not the same thing as time wasted'.

The site is dedicated to "how we all waste time or what we do when we’re not ‘working’."  Created by a group of like minded middle-aged men, Planetbrowny aims to be a place where they can have everything they want under one roof.

They like music, sport, fast cars, bikes and technology. They also like poker, great days out, flying and much more. And the music of Billy Jenkins...... 

Spank that Planetbrowny.com link now!
 

Sadly, Brownie left this planet all too suddenly in September 2012. The website remains as a loving tribute to the man.

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Hear Billy Live On BBC R4!
 

BBC Radio York Billy Jenkins
'I'll try and do 'morning nice...!' 
©Mary Thackray
 

Call the Polite Police! 

Mr Jenkins can be heard partaking in 'lively and diverse conversation on the flagship  BBC R4 'Midweek' radio programme with Libby Purves and other guests writer and naturalist Sir John Lister Kaye, fashion designer Caroline Charles and former Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers.

The live discussion, with Billy talking about his music and conducting Humanist funerals took place on Wednesday 24th February 2010 and can still be listened to and enjoyed by spanking this 'Midweek' link!

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