Born on December 11, 1961, on the south side of Chicago, Jones picked up the electric and later acoustic bass, later playing in a local band alongside pianist Ken Chaney and guitarist Phil Upchurch, and on occasion, drummer Vince Wilburn, Jr. Wilburn turned out to be jazz legend Miles Davis’ nephew, and the drummer recommended Jones to Miles. A try-out in New York was arranged a day after Davis called Jones, which promptly landed Jones the gig. Joining Davis’ touring band only a week after his inaugural tryout, Jones would appear on such ’80s-era Davis recordings as 1983’s Decoy and 1985’s You’re Under Arrest.
Settling down in New York City permanently, Jones quickly built a name for himself in the local jazz scene, where he played and/or recorded alongside his fellow bandmates in Davis’ band, guitarists Mike Stern and John Scofield, as well as the Gil Evans Big Band and Steps Ahead. Jones’ next prestigious gig came on another recommendation, when saxophonist Branford Marsalis helped set up a try-out for Sting’s initial solo project – playing on 1985’s Dream of the Blue Turtles and appearing along with Kenny Kirkland,Omar Hakim,Branford Marsalis,Dolette McDonald and Janice Pendarvis in the full feature length film “Bring on the Night”, as well as touring along with the ex-Police frontman. Jones returned to his hometown of Chicago in 1989, originally so he could focus primarily on his own songwriting. But his plan was short lived, as word was already out about his talents, and more tour/studio work came his way, this time for Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, and Eric Clapton.
Jones’ accomplishments up until this point were quite exceptional, but the jewel in his crown came in 1994, when he landed the gig as bassist for the Rolling Stones, replacing longtime member Bill Wyman. Jones has been in the group ever since, appearing on such studio recordings as 1994’s Voodoo Lounge and 1997’s Bridges to Babylon, as well as numerous tours (and resulting live albums, 1995’s Stripped and 1998’s No Security).
Jones also continues to guest on other artist’s recordings, including albums by Joan Armatrading, Buckshot LeFonque, Joe Cocker, and B.B. King, among others, while his bass playing can be heard on such archival Miles Davis releases (1998’s Live in France, 2002’s Complete Miles Davis at Montreux 1973-1991, etc.).
All Music – Greg Prato