Salena Jones (1970)
|Birth name||Joan Elizabeth Shaw|
|Also known as||Joan Shaw|
January 29, 1930 |
Newport News, Virginia, United States
|Genres||Jazz, cabaret, R&B|
|Labels||Savoy, MGM, Regal, Abbey, Coral, Gem, Jaguar, ABC-Paramount, Sue, CBS, JVC Victor|
|Associated acts||Keith Mansfield (husband)|
Salena Jones (born Joan Elizabeth Shaw, January 29, 1930 or 1944)[nb 1] is an American jazz and cabaret singer. After performing and recording in the US as Joan Shaw from the late 1940s until the early 1960s, in various styles including jazz and R&B, she moved to England and from then on performed as Salena Jones. She has toured internationally and recorded over forty albums.
Early life and career
According to most sources, she was born Joan Elizabeth Shaw in Newport News, Virginia, though some sources give the name Joan DeCarlo. Her uncle was a vaudeville comedian, dancer and singer, Bootsie Swan. After first singing in her church and school, she started performing in clubs by the age of fifteen. She won a talent contest in New York's Apollo Theater, singing "September Song", and after making demonstration records for Peggy Lee and Lena Horne, acquired her own contract as Joan Shaw. Her first disc was 1949's "He Knows How to Hucklebuck", with the Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams Orchestra, for the Savoy label. In the early 1950s, she recorded for various labels including MGM (1950), Regal, Abbey (both 1951), and Coral (1952), often working with vocal group The Five Keys and the Billy Ford Orchestra. After some time performing in clubs in Florida and elsewhere as a nightclub singer, she began touring with an R&B band, the Blues Express, appearing with Johnnie Ray, Arthur Prysock, Varetta Dillard, Peppermint Harris, and others. She recorded in various styles, including R&B on recordings such as "You Drive Me Crazy" on the Gem label in 1953.
In 1954, she had a club residency in Bermuda, where she performed with saxophonist "King" Curtis Ousley, before returning to New York and recording for the Jaguar label. She continued to tour, and sang on bills with Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Big Maybelle, LaVern Baker and others. She recorded later in the decade for ABC-Paramount and the small U-C label, but mainstream success eluded her and she was bypassed by the growth of rock and roll. In 1960, she began recording for Epic Records, releasing several singles and, in 1961, the LP Joan Shaw Sings For Swingers, recorded with the Bellino Ramaglia Orchestra and with liner notes by Leonard Feather. Her second LP, Joan Shaw In Person, was released by Sue Records in 1963.
As Salena Jones
Faced with diminishing success and racism in the USA, Joan Shaw reinvented herself in the mid-1960s as Salena Jones. She said, "I loved Sarah Vaughan so much and adored Lena Horne's elegance; I put them together as ‘Salena.’ It looked good. And I kept Joan in ‘Jones.’” And that's how Salena Jones was born."
She toured in Spain (1965) and Britain (1966), where she appeared for an extended season at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. Since then she has appeared at most leading concert halls and clubs in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, and appeared regularly on radio and TV, with her own series in the United Kingdom. Since visiting Japan for the first time (1978) she appeared there annually, memorably in the Unesco Save The Children Telethon (1988), and on a concert tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1992). In 1964, Down Beat jazz critic Leonard Feather chose Salena Jones as one of the female vocalists of the year, alongside Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald (also from Newport News) and Nancy Wilson.
Salena has also appeared throughout Britain, touring with the Million Airs Orchestra, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Turkey, Austria and Bulgaria. She has also made numerous television and radio broadcasts in Britain, and throughout Europe, often supported by the BBC Big Band. Also performed in Australia, Africa, South America, China, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. Since her first visit to Japan in 1978 she has returned at least annually, appearing in concert halls, on television, radio and regularly at the Blue Note Jazz Clubs in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.
In her career to date Salena has recorded over forty albums, covering nearly five hundred songs, and sold over 500,000 albums worldwide and her album entitled My Love recorded in Tokyo won her an award in Japan for outstanding sales. Salena's musical biography includes many distinguished musicians, band leaders and other artists with whom she has performed or recorded. These include such performers as her long-time producer and husband Keith Mansfield, Herman Foster, Tom Jones, The Coasters, Count Basie Orchestra, Adelaide Hall, Art Farmer, Brook Benton, Barney Kessel, Art Themen, Sarah Vaughan, Hank Jones, Maynard Ferguson, and Dudley Moore.
In Rio de Janeiro not long before Antonio Carlos Jobim's death she recorded Salena Sings Jobim With The Jobims (1994) (licensed from Japanese Victor by Vine Gate Music UK), Jobim's hits sung in English, with Paulo Jobim on vocals, flute and guitar, grandson Daniel Cannetti Jobim on piano and the composer himself on two duets, Kenny Burrell on one track: 14 Jobim songs plus Michael Franks's tributes "Antonio's Song (The Rain- bow)" and "Abandoned Garden", and including two duos with Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim himself. In the 1990s, Salena made a sequence of six albums all consisting of standards and completed in six weeks, including mixing. Some of these albums, including Dream with Salena, Journey with Salena, Broadway and Hollywood are themed with songs appropriate to the titles.
Early 2000 saw Salena starring at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, backed by the Hank Jones Quartet including such as Russell Malone, Lewis Nash, and also featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove, singer Dianne Reeves and Freddie Cole. January 2001 saw Salena return to Israel for eight sell-out shows, and she took her trio to Japan in May for two weeks appearing for Cartier, the jewellers, at their trade fairs throughout the country. In May 2006, Salena sang again in China opening the Shanghai International Jazz Festival (opened in 2005 by Diana Krall). Salena opened with Lee Ritenour, and Tower of Power.
She is now based in Ascot, Berkshire, England.
|1961||Joan Shaw Sings For Swingers||Epic|
|1963||Joan Shaw In Person||Sue|
|1969||The Moment of Truth||CBS|
|1973||Alone and Together||RCA|
|1974||This 'n' That||RCA|
|1976||Where Peaceful Waters Flow||DJM|
|1978||Stairway to the Stars||Eastworld|
|1979||Stormy With Luv||JVC|
|1980||Ballad With Luv||JVC|
|1980||Love Is In The Air||JVC|
|1980||Melodies of Love||JVC|
|1983||Shifting Sands of Time||JVC|
|1986||I Want To Know About You||JVC|
|1987||The Song of Life||JVC|
|1988||Let It Be||JVC|
|1992||I Love Paris||JVC|
|1994||Salena Sings Jobim with the Jobims||Vine Gate|
|1994||Only Love||JVC Victor|
|1994||In Hollywood||JVC Victor|
|1994||Journey With Salena Jones||JVC Victor|
|1995||It Amazes Me||Vine Gate|
|1995||Dream With Salena Jones||JVC Victor|
|1995||By Request||JVC Victor|
|1996||Singin' In The Rain||JVC Victor|
|1996||By Request Vol. II||JVC Victor|
|1996||Love With Salena Jones||JVC Victor|
|1997||Night Mood||JVC Victor|
|1998||Salena Jones Meets Kenny Burrell||JVC Victor|
|1999||You Never Done It Like That||JVC Victor|
|1999||Classic Salena||JVC Victor|
|2001||Those Eyes||JVC Victor|
|2002||Salena Swings||JVC Victor|
|2003||Let's Fall in Love|
|2008||Love & Inspiration|
|2010||Salena Sings J-Ballads|
|2012||Salena – The First Live|
- Several reliable sources, including 60 Years of Recorded Jazz, 1917–1967 by Walter Bruyninckx, and The Encyclopedia Yearbooks of Jazz by Leonard Feather, give January 29, 1930 as the date of birth of the singer Joan Shaw. The liner notes for her 1961 LP Joan Shaw Sings For Swingers, also written by Feather, state that she "...began singing in amateur programs around town from the time she was 13. Within a couple of years she had graduated to local night clubs, and soon she had her first fling in New York, trying out in the amateur hour at the Apollo Theater. Soon after, in 1948, she was hired as band vocalist with a group led by Paul Williams....". It is clear and uncontested that Joan Shaw later began using the name Salena Jones, after moving to England. However, the sources for Joan Shaw conflict with other sources such as AllMusic, and The Rough Guide to Jazz, which give Salena Jones' date of birth as January 29, 1944.
- W. Bruyninckx, 60 Years of Recorded Jazz, 1917–1967, Vol.10, p.277
- Leonard Feather, The Encyclopedia Yearbooks of Jazz, 2003, p.146
- Leonard Feather, Liner notes for Joan Shaw Sings For Swingers, Epic BN601, 1961. Retrieved 29 December 2015
- Chris True, "Salena Jones: Biography, AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2015
- Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, Brian Priestley, The Rough Guide to Jazz, 2004, p.422, ISBN 1-84353-256-5
- Salena Jones biography. Retrieved 29 December 2015
- J C Marion, "Joan Shaw : The Lady Sings", JammUpp #14, 2000. Retrieved 29 December 2015
- Joan Shaw, Discogs.com. Retrieved 29 December 2015
- Salena Jones Discography. Retrieved 29 December 2015
- Salena Jones Newport archive
- All About Jazz: January 1, 2007
- Salena Jones:Discography, Allmusic.com. Retrieved 30 December 2015