Review of Turn Up The Good (2006)
by Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars
(RIP Geoff, you are missed)
“The sophomore recording by the guitarist leader, who composes all 12 tunes here, is really impressive. It exploits groove and blues and makes good use of Hammond organ pumped by Robi Botos and the simpatico pulse of bass Michael Pellarin and drummer Ben Riley. Meredith-Jones shows off biting phrasing, heaving, heavy lines and a full-blooded tone that should endear him to fans of R&B and rock, as well as Wes Montgomery and John Scofield — not to mention really smart writing skills. He establishes a tough mood from the aggressive opening title track on and keeps it up, with “Falling Back Again” and “Push,” all vim and vigour on a thoroughly enjoyable disc — faint worries that fusion was in the air at the start of “Blue Sky Blvd” are quickly expunged. There are three successive Latin-themed pieces for relief before the genre reinhabits contemporary jazzland with the boppish “Dig,” the Metheny soundscape of “Good Times Ahead” and the mini-epic “Setting Sun.” ~ GC
Review of New Time (2003)
Guitar 9 Magazine
Interactive, Melodic, Contemporary Jazz
New Time is a self-described “Pat Metheny meets Steve Vai at a party Martin Medeski Wood held for Miles Davis” collection of instrumental tunes written and performed by Canadian guitarist Sean Meredith-Jones, along with his quartet. This jazz/fusion CD offers the highest quality of musicianship, as Meredith-Jones spearheads the interactivity between the musicians with an array of clean and highly overdriven tones. The nine-minute opening track, “Dark Night Of The Soul”, sets the standard in this regard, starting off slow and benign, then leading to a fiery guitar solo in the middle and end sections. Look no further than “Saying Goodbye” for an example of Meredith-Jones’ Metheny influence, while “Agape” is a musical conversation between Meredith-Jones’ six-string and guest Phil Dwyer’s soprano sax – great tune. Fusion fans take special note of the music coming out of this Toronto area quartet.
Sean has been playing guitar for the last 17 years. He started with private guitar lessons at the age of nine, and in 1994 was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts. Sean completed a four-year degree program majoring in Performance, studying composition and improvisation in a more intense environment. For the past four years, he has been teaching private guitar lessons, performing and composing. Sean currently has approximately 30 guitar students while also concurrently studying with jazz guitar great Lorne Lofsky. For the past four years, he has had the privilege of playing in the Du Maurier jazz festival in Toronto, at the Orbit Room. His group have opened for the likes of the Phil Dwyer quintet, as well as for Doug Riley’s Hammond B3 quartet and quintets.
Typically, the Sean Meredith-Jones live shows are as a quartet. Some of the locations they have played thus far have been The Rex Hotel, the Montreal Bistro, and the Orbit Room The lineup of players is Ben Riley (Planet Earth, Mo Koffman, Joe Sealy, Holly Cole, Doug Riley, Bruce Cockburn) on drums, Michael Pellarin on bass, and Michael Janzen on piano/Hammond B3 organ.