Soul´ful music with west coast feelin´
Rumors about a strong Danish RnB act have flourished for a long time – into the bargains this is a band which consists of 5 good musicians capable of performing their music altogether live.
JONZ was formed back in 1997 (in Esbjerg, the likely future RnB-capital of Denmark!) by singer Jonas Rendbo, bass player Jens Chr. Brockhoff, drummer Kim Thomsen, saxophonist Jimmi Riise and keyboard player and programmer Boe Larsen.
The latter four met at the Conservatory of West Jutland where they began playing jazz-rock together. While playing in the area they had taken notice of the brilliant singer Jonas – and in ’96 Jonas and Boe began writing material for a new band. In the spring of ’97 the two were able to present a number of songs – and together with Jimmi, Jens & Kim they entered a demo-studio and dispatched their efforts under the name of JONZ.
The demo recording landed on the desk of the organizer of SPOT04 (a musical conference) which took place in Aarhus in October ’97. Among the audience at their splendid performance was also Jan Sneum from the editorial staff of National Radio P3 (which shortly after broadcast one of the band’s concerts live). Sony Musics talent scout was also present and he immediately offered the band a contracts (which the quintet accepted after careful consideration).
In the spring and summer of ’98 JONZ worked hard at writing new songs and playing at a number of clubs in order to be well-prepared for the studio sessions. In October the season ended with a gig at SPOT05 in Aarhus. Among the audience were the English producer Pete Smith (Sting & Joe Cocker) and manager Keith Harris (for many years manager of Stevie Wonder).
The two Englishmen we just as enthusiastic as the audience – and at the subsequent meetings in London, it was agreed that Pete Smith should produce the JONZ’ debut album and Keith Harris became the manager of the band. All in all a very good start for a debut act.
In November ’98 Pete Smith arrived in Denmark and went immediatly into rehearsals with JONZ in order to prepare for the forthcoming recordings, and January ’99 the first 3 songs where mixed and completed: “U Know”, “Share My Life” and “Where You’re At”.
It swings, the melodies crawl directly into your ears and stay there. In their production Pete Smith and the band have avoided the worst RnB clichés and instead emphasized JONZ with their own sound which has more of an edge than traditional American RnB. “U Know” featuring guest rapper par excellence Al Agami – was selected as the first single from JONZ and was released in March ’99.
JONZ has now finished the album which is scheduled for release in Denmark on the 5th of May ’99. The new single “Sleeping” will also be released on that day.
Keith Harris (manager for Jonz & Stevie Wonder): “I was wondering if I was going mad or if this band really was as good as I thought it was, so I checked some of their stuff with Stevie and his message was clear…”
Stevie Wonder: “It’s a great band…when can I get a copy of this CD?!”
Where It´s At
Sony Music 1999
Tracks: Why Did It Go, U Know, Do Me Right, Love In Vain, Share My Life, After You’ve Gone, A Freaky Interlude, Sleeping, Where You’re At, Did You Ever & Lullaby.
Musicians on the Where It´s At album: Jonas Rendbo, Jens Chr. Brockhoff, Kim Thomsen, Jimmy Riise & Boe Larsen.