COMPARE & CONTRAST
If you find any new 'uns, let us have 'em!
'Way before Mike Skinner hit The Streets with his urban tales, Billy
Jenkins was already
singing about the Bromley and southeast London streets.'
'The musical equivalent of Duchamp’s
moustachioed Mona Lisa.'
'Jenkins is the Mike Leigh of
British jazz' The Guardian 23.11.10
'Like the art of his spiritual predecessors, Blake and Bunyan, there's
much sophistication beneath what
appears a gallimaufry of the guilelessly innocent with the spendidly
rough hewn.' Jazzwise Sept 2010
'Taps into the blues spirit of the likes of Jimmy Smith and Fats
Waller collaborator J. C. Johnson.'
'The fantastically titled Francis Drake Bowling Club could be the
soundtrack of a silent Charlie Chaplin movie.'
'The Victor Meldrew of avant-garde jazz and, more recently,blues...'
- METRO Newspaper 11.11.06
'That wounded bear voice makes Tom Waits sound almost
like Blossom Dearie' Jazzwise Dec/Jan 2010
'Possessed by the souls of Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix
and John Fahey' - Termite Club Website 5.3.04
'Sounding like some undiscovered John Oswald plunderphonics
reinterpretation of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music' - Termite
Club Website 5.3.04
'Looking like a dishevelled cross between Freddie Starr
and Father Jack' - Wakefield Express 8.1.1.02
'Think of Billy as being like the Fool in Shakespearian
drama'. Blues In Britain Sept 2002
'...like David Johansen.' Sunday
'A Muddy Waters feel mingles with jazz on the opening
title track. ' (musicomh.com 12.4.10)
'Comes out sounding like George Benson on acid' (The
'..the most affecting workaday lament since Keith Moons
'Bellboy' from the Who's Quadrophenia'
(The Tablet 4.10.02)
'Combines the attack of in-your-face adepts such as
James Blood Ulmer and Sonny Sharrock with the downhome
funk of Lightning Hopkins and Muddy Waters, and throws
in the spirit of Dave Davies of The Kinks, circa "You
Really Got Me." The recipe is Jenkins' own.'
'Like (Tony) Hancock or Harry H. Corbett, this is a
comedian who hankers to play Hamlet...'
(Jazzwise Dec/Jan 2010)
'a hoe-down shuffle worthy of Swamptrash' BJ
'The rhythm could be the Brain of Morbius doing a Mud
cover and the guitars go off like two Zal Cleminsons playing in Lynryd
Skynyrd.' (BJ Webzine 08/02)
'Billy Jenkins is the Leo Baxandall of Free Improvisation'
(Royal College of Art gig poster 12.2.02)
'The P.T.Barnum of the out galaxies' (The Guardian
'a combination of Woody Allen, Tony Hancock and Keith
Floyd' (Blueprint 10.01)
'The Beano' (Wire 11.00)
'funnier than anything Carla Bley has created for the
last 20 years at least' (Cadence 12.99)
'calls to mind Willem Breuker's Kollektief' (Cadence
'the Blues Brothers' (Birmingham Post 29.8.01)
'Talking James Carter up a storm' (Wire 11.00)
'Jenkins' own slashing re-imaginging of Muddy Waters
slide attack, the devil's spawn of Johnny 'Guitar'
Watson out of Derek Bailey.'
Jazzwise Sept 2010
'He’s unlikely to be duetting with Diana Krall or Stacey
Kent any time soon. On the poignant
closer I Took A Walk, Jenkins adopts a more understated
style, perhaps reminiscent of Kurt
Wagner or Bill Callahan.'
'a counter to Gil Evans's impressionism' (New Statesman
'Sid James..' (Wire 11.00)
'a concerto of Sugarcane Harris proportions' (Wire
'reminiscant of Alexis Korner' (Blueprint 1.98)
'maybe Steve Marriott' (Wire 11.00)
'reminds you of Johnny Mars' (Blueprint 10.01)
'next to Jenkins, Pulp seem like feckless dilettanti'
(New Statesman 31.1.00)
'true Oliver Reed style' (Rhythm 9.01)
'Billy's voice took a tonal slide from Louis Armstrong
pitch to Barry White territory. ' (BJ Webzine 12/99)
'Like that weird little sod in Sparks' (Blueprint 10.01)
'will remind you of Tom Waits' (Blueprint 10.01)
'He rushes his phrasing in the manner of jazz singers
such as Mark Murphy. Elsewhere, he
often resembles the way Bob Dylan often now sounds
in concert – aggressive, unpredictable
and in a real hurry to spit the words out.'
'Howlin' Wolf on steriods' (Guardian 23.11.01)
'His solos and fills are kind of, er, Tiny Grimes as
imagined by Vernon Reid of Living Colour.' (Blues & Rhythm - June 2001)
'In fine Alec Guinness form' (Blues Matters! - June
'Could have been Randy Newman singing this one' (Blues
Matters! - June 2001)
'A six-string cross between Thelonious Monk, Mose Allison
and Dr. John' (Jazz Review - December 2000)
'One of those strange people, like Elvis Costello'
(Birmingham Post 04.11.00)
'He is, along with the Princess Royal and Walthamstow
Dog Stadium, one of our national treasures' (Penguin Guide to Jazz, 2000).
'Plays guitar like Kafka in one of his nightmares'
(The Mercury 18.10.00)
'File alongside JJ Cale, Keb Mo and Tom Waits' (Huddersfield
Daily Examiner 13.10.00)
'Like fellow intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre...' (London
Evening Standard 28.9.00)
'Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix and Billy Connolly rolled
together' (The Stage 7.10.93);
'The Rowan Atkinson of jazz' (City Limits 1.88);
'The world of Derek Bailey'(Guardian 11.7.97);
'Keith Rowe's technique makes B.J. look like George
Benson' (Glasgow Herald 30.1.97);
'I'd plump for Steve Beresford vs Blue Gene Tyranny
with Fats Waller as ref!' (City Limits 8.2.84);
'Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band' (Jazz Nu 4.93);
'S.E. London's answer to Victor Borge (with a dash
of Spike Jones thrown in)' (The Times 6.3.96);
In the manner of Jean Paul Bourrelly or Joe Morris'
(The Wire 4.91);
'The thinking man's Billy Bragg' (Sounds 22.6.85)
'....atmospheric Liberation Music Orchestra-reminiscent
pieces.' The Guardian 8.7.10
'A William Breuker figure the UK jazz scene badly needs
(Guiness Enc. of Popular Music 1992);
'Could be a distant relative of Casper Broetzmann'
(Hessische Rundfunk 9.96)
'A Charles Brown disciple with T-Bone Walker overtones'(Jazz
' A James Brown rip-off' (Jazz Journal 3.88);
'Is Billy our [John] Cage, our [Eric] Satie, our [Sun]
Ra, our [Eugene] Chadbourne?' (The Wire 4.91);
'Don Cherry meets Albert AylerÕ'(Jazz FM 8.7.97);
'Does what Noam Chomsky does for American foreign policy'
(Jazz At Ronnies 7.98)
'John Cleese' (Jazz Live,Austria, 4.96);
'An anarchic roller coaster ride through a musical
landscape dotted by such luminaries as Ornette Coleman, Adrian Belew, Ian
Carr, Matching Mole, Soft Machine and Gong' (Highly Strung 12.90);
'A heartfelt Albert Collins' (Birmingham Post 1.2.97)
'A speeded up Tommy Cooper' (Marxism Today 11.90);
'Almost like a Hank Crawford or Boots Randolph album'
'Miles Davis' (Jazz Journal 3.88);
'Debussy' (The Wire 1.86);
'Like Barbara Dickson backing tracks' (Sunday Times
'Delirious version of Dire Straits' (South London Press
'Duane Eddy' (The Times 13.9.86);
'The post punk Duke Ellington' (Guardian 3.95);
'A virtuoso like James Emery' (The Wire 4.91);
'The harsh tone of Robert Fripp with the manual dexterity
of Fred Frith at the same time' (Bristol Evening Post 11.10.90);
'Marvin Gaye-type smoochy slinkiness'(The Times 6.3.96);
'Reminds me of Dizzy Gillespie (in conversation with
Junior Mance, Nurnberg 19.5.96);
'Charles Ives' (The Wire 1.86);
'Compare him with his uncle David Jenkins the [now
retired] Bishop of Durham, for each is notorious' (Jazz Forum 4.92);
'The guitar itself is more Michael Karoli than Cream'
(Melody Maker 28.9.85)
'He is to guitar playing what Evil Knevil is to safe
motor bike riding' (City Limits 5.12.92);
'Comes somewhere between Hank Marvin and the Blue Ridge
Mountains (sic)' (Jazz Journal 12.93);
'The Groucho Marx of modern Music' (The Wire 11.92);
'The Marx Brothers in the department store are nothing
against Billy' (Jazz Thing 3.96);
'The Rick Mayall of Jazz' ( Birmingham Post 3.7.91);
'John McLaughlin on acid' (Guitar Techniques 11.94)
'The Denis the Menace of Music' (The Mercury 21.10.93);
'The spirit of the late Charles Mingus' (The Times
'A demented Al Di Miola' (Highly Strung 4.91);
'Enrico Morricone' (Jazz Journal 3.88);
'A vocal raspy enough to be Van Morrison' (Jazz Express
'Novelty nonsense along the lines of John Otway and
Captain Sensible' (Finetime 3.97)
'An occassional glance at Paco Pena' (Highly Strung
'Guitarwork is like viewing a Jackson Pollock or watching
Paul Gascoyne' (Jazz At Ronnies 7.98);
'Leon Redbone style grunts' (Highly Strung 4. 91);
'More in common with Vic Reeves' (Sunday Times 31.5.98);
'Collides with The Residents' (Jazz On CD 10.94);
'Telly Savalas-style vocals' (Sunday Times 31.5.98);
'The Alexei Sayle of London Jazz' (Yorkshire Evening
'Sonny Sharrock' (Der Standard 7.91);
'Could be usefully compared to early Stockhausen or
recent John Zorn' (Hi-Fi News 7.93);
'Whether in Hubert Sumlin or B.B.King mode consistently
produces the goods'(The Times 24.1.97)
'Sounds like it was conducted by Carl Stalling' (Sunday
'Le Jacques Tati du jazz british' (La buleuse du Hask
'Creed Taylor's late nite funk' (The Wire 10.90);
'A mixture of James Blood Ulmer, and Ry Cooder' (HR2
'A Three Stooges end to a Three Stooges set' (Mojo
'He is more like Norman Wisdom' (The Observer 12.1.97)
' A sad, quirky spontaneity reminiscent of Robert Wyatt
and Phil Minton' (Rubberneck 7.96);
'Unlike Frank Zappa, he is not yet dead'(Venue 6.96).
I-Spy Spotters: F. O'Donnell, O.Weindling, A.Canny,
D.Smedley, L.Spencer, D.Ward, K.Rowe, J.Steel, R.Loydell, P.Daub, B.Watson,
B.Mayfield, A.Zuper and others