b. Vincent Hugh Jones, 24 March 1954, Paisley, Scotland. In 1955 Jones’ family emigrated to Australia and lived in Wolloongong, New South Wales. The son of a musician, he was exposed to the jazz greats at an early age and he began to play trumpet in local bands. As an admirer of cool jazz he was especially influenced by Chet Baker and Miles Davis. In 1974 Jones began many years of playing and singing on the New South Wales club and jazz circuit. In 1982 he recorded his debut, Watch What Happens, which featured standards and some original material. The success of the album enabled him to form a sextet that played and toured extensively. More recordings followed, and Jones became a popular festival and cabaret attraction. In 1990 he accepted an acting role in the ABC period series, Come In Spinner. The subsequent album soundtrack of standards, with Jones and Grace Knight, became a milestone in the Australian recording industry as the biggest selling Australian jazz album ever, with sales in excess of 200, 000.
Jones rejected the commercial and celebrity opportunities that beckoned, preferring to concentrate on his own musicality and he released and produced new albums each year. Standards became less obvious in his repertoire and originals, written by himself or band members, became more prominent. In 1992, he toured Europe with his sextet which included Barney McAll, Lloyd Swanton and Andrew Gander. There were concerts in The Netherlands, Germany, England and at the Montreux International Jazz Festival. An effective concert and cabaret performer, Jones’ sensitive, almost tortured persona, complimented the melancholic nature of his music, which became increasingly more introspective. After the release of Trustworthy Little Sweethearts, the Jones band toured Europe to considerable success. When he returned to Australia Jones retreated to his isolated farm in rural Victoria to compose new material. The album, Future Girl, contained original material, much of it inspired by his passion for the environment and conservation. Jones maintains full control in all aspects of his recordings and performs only when inclined, but his fierce independence and dedication to his art has resulted in a highly original and important body of work. By the late 90s he had developed more as a vocalist who occasionally played the trumpet. His singing is individual and eloquent, containing sensitive phrasing and sincerity.