Born: February 18, 1945 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Jimmy Jewell started out in 1962 playing tenor sax with various R&B and jazz bands in the north of England. In 1963 he decided to turn professional and joined the group Kris Ryan and the Questions, originally a rock band, which due to his influence, switched to playing R&B and Soul/Jazz, a la Ray Charles & James Brown. The band got a record deal with Mercury and 2 singles and an EP were released. The manager of the band wanted it to move in a more commercial direction and a solo single by Ryan was released. Jimmy left the band in 1965.
He moved down to London in 1966 and played briefly with a soul band, Mack’s Sound. Whilst on tour in Germany with the Paramounts, backing Chris Andrews, he accepted an offer to join a Berlin band, the Magics. He toured with them in Germany until Spring 1967, then returned to London. He did a few gigs with Screaming Lord Sutch, then joined another soul band, the Stewart James Inspiration. He toured with them in England and Germany until they disbanded in 1968.
In 1969 he joined the Keef Hartley Band, a progressive blues/rock group, along with trumpeter Henry Lowther. A few weeks later, they were one of the few British bands to play the Woodstock festival, critics at the time comparing them favourably with Blood Sweat And Tears. He appeared on the album The Battle of North West Six (1969) then left together with Lowther while the band were recording The Time is Near (1970).
In 1971 he recorded with McGuiness-Flint on the album Happy Birthday Ruthie Baby. In 1972 he appeared on the Coulson,Dean,McGuiness,Flint album Lo and Behold. In 1973 he appeared on Dennis Coulson's solo album and on the Seeds album by Gallagher and Lyle, a Scottish songwriting duo who were former members of McGuiness-Flint. He also toured Britain with them and Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance. In 1974 he appeared on their next album, The Last Cowboy and did more live dates with them as well as Ronnie Lane’s Passing Show. He also appeared on Lane’s first album Anymore for Anymore. The period 1975 through 1977 saw further touring work with Gallagher and Lyle and appearances on two further albums Breakaway, and Love on the Airwaves. Session work included appearances on the Joan Armatrading album and Fairport's Gottle o’ Geer album.
In 1976 he recorded his first solo album, I’m Amazed, released in 1977 by UK label Affinity records. A second solo album From the First Time I Met You was recorded in 1977, and released by Affinity in 1978.
In November 1978 he moved to Chicago, where he played in various blues bands and also his own jazz quartet, as well as doing session work with various blues artists at Alligator records.
He came back to London in 1984 and in 1985 released an album of his own jazz compositions, Dawn of the Dragon on cassette with a quintet featuring US trumpeter Chris Albert and drummer Hughie Flint. Subsequent work was sporadic.
In 1995 he started a jazz trio with bass and drums only, but later expanded to a quintet with trumpet and trombone. The band had a weekly residence at an east London pub until 1996. During 1996, this quintet recorded an album as Jazz Alembic which is now released on Spherious Music.
In 1997 he moved to Kent due to family health problems. An outbuilding at the back of his house has been converted to a recording studio. A record label, Spherious Music has been set up to release his work, the first release being a compilation from the two solo albums, which is available now
In September 2000 Spherious Music release First PhaseCD
In May 2001 Almost straight ahead is released by Spherious Music
Jewell deserves his showcase and deserves sales as well - Music Week.
Me and Jimmy Jewell are feeling mellow together - New Musical Express.
A real hot one - Manchester Evening News.
From the first time I met you - Sounds like an album with staying power cured my Monday morning depression better than any aspirin. Those that have ears, please listen - Sounds.
There is throughout this album a feeling of directness and a quality of unpretentious melodic playing which is totally captivating - Jazz Journal.
Jewell's music is cool, flowing, sometimes intricate but always relaxing - Music Week.
An album with real personality a pleasure to listen to - The Hot Press
Jewell is a powerful saxophonist - Manchester Evening News.
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