Billy Jenkins
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Billy Jenkins - guitar, voice, MD
Iain Ballamy - saxophones
Chistine Tobin - voice
Django Bates - keyboards
Dave Ramm - keyboards
Steve Watts - double bass
Mike Pickering - outrider sidecar drums
Martin France - drumkit

The Première of True Love Collection was at
the QEH, London South Bank on 28th September 1996.
The gig was part of a day long event organized by Unknown Public,
with BJ's line-up as above minus Christine Tobin and with Steve Argüelles on drums.

 David Stewart and Barbara Gaskin's arsenal of electronics took so long to get off stage that BJ and band could
only play for 27 minutes before curfew, which inspired a humorous missive by an S & G fan online.....

 Tobin and Pickering returned for the full première @ Blackheath Concert Halls in January '97. 

Programme notes for the True Love Collection Première

Writing in The Guardian* recently, Richard Williams reiterated the long held (but minority opinion) that "jazz" in fact ceased to exist as long ago as the mid-1920s, when the role of the 'star soloist' killed off the original form of collective polyphony.

Billy Jenkins has always been loathe to call his music "jazz", partly on account of the conflict between real time creativity and the marketing thereof - which can only crossover towards the mundane world of profit making if reduced to a nostalgic and sycophantic 'nice' sound.

When you stop to consider, Jenkins' music has always retained that initial 'collective polyphony' - but with it, a barbed sound that is perhaps too coarse for this sound saturated day and age. This he has always tempered (especially in live performance) with humour.

Due to be released on CD on the Babel Label (by what is, in effect, a 'Babel Label Allstar Band') towards the end of '97, the True Love Collection addresses this misconception of 'not taking things seriously'.

Previous recorded documentation by these musicians of 'pop' covers, including 'My Girl' - Human Chain/Human Chain (EG Records 1986); 'Downtown' - Earthworks/'Dig?' (EG 1989); the 'Vision On' TV theme - Steve Argüelles/ 'Blue Moon In A Function Room (Babel 1994); 'Wanderin' Star' & 'What A Wonderful World' - Billy Jenkins & Fun Horns/ 'East-West' (Babel, 1996) have sometimes been dismissed as satirical works that are 'taking the piss' and 'mucking about'.

But there is no truer way to show love than by working hard to heighten the well being of the object(s) of one's desire.

As in this case the object is dormant - a copyright melody line and chord sequence - it is only right and proper that the musicians bring all their influences and learnt instincts to this aural orgy of devotion.

The object of one's 'love' should be caressed, manipulated and fully addressed.

Expect love and affection directed towards a selection of tunes from the formative years of those performing - which, believe it or not, leaves us with the likes of The Carpenters, Simon & Garfunkel, The Bee Gees, The Doors and others.


'New York, New York' - Delightful Precipice/Winter Truce (and Homes Blaze) (JMT 1995).

Do you really think Django was 'mucking about' or being 'silly'? Consider the time taken and creative input needed to create such a complex arrangement.

Consider too, that by releasing a 'cover' , Django happily gives up quite a few minutes of recording copyright royalties.

That, is 'true love'.

Deviation is not irreverence - it is 'true love'.

©1996 Billy Jenkins

* 'Spontaneous Combustion - How jazz has lost its most important asset - the ability to improvise'.
The Guardian 28.12.96

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