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John Paul Jones

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John Paul Jones Zooma album cover
3.75 | 69 ratings | 8 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Zooma 3 (5:53)
2. Grind (5:21)
3. The Smile Of Your Shadow 3 (5:50)
4. Goose (4:59)
5. Bass 'n' Drums 2 (2:32)
6. B. Fingers (5:26)
7. Snake Eyes (7:32)
8. Nosumi Blues (5:48)
9. Tidal (4:21)

Total time 47:42

Line-up / Musicians

- John Paul Jones / basses (lap steel, 4-, 10- & 12-string), electric mandola (1,3), Kyma software (1,2,4,7,9), guitar (6), organ (7), string arranger & conductor (7), composer & producer

- Paul Leary / guitar solo (1)
- Trey Gunn / Warr touch-guitar (2,6)
- Pete Thomas / drums (1,2,4,6-9)
- Denny Fongheiser / djembe (3), drums (5)
- London Symphony Orchestra / strings (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Akio Morishima

CD Discipline Global Mobile ‎- DGM9909 (1999, Europe/US)

Thanks to Raff for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JOHN PAUL JONES Zooma ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN PAUL JONES Zooma reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album really kicks ass in a positive way. The main body of this music is built tightly around John's really powerful bass lines and Pete Thomas' hard drum battering. Quite simple and primitive compositions are mostly designed for hard improvisational playing, offered as playing grounds for Trey Gunn's and Paul Leary's violent guitar works. There are also distorting noisescapes layered over the songs, amplifying the chaotic overall feeling. A one comparison to this music could be King Crimson's "Vroom Vroom" era material with lesser artistic solutions and post-production interventions. The absolute calm within this storm is the lovely "The Smile of Your Shadow", presenting nice mandolin licks by John, and concluding to a really beautiful ethereal end sequence, like melting to the heavens above. "Bass 'n' Drums" is then pure jamming with the mentioned instruments. I think this album could be mostly recommended for bass players and fans of late 1990's King Crimson. It's no coincidence that the record was released by Robert Fripp's DGM record label. In its simplicity the album is also quite accessible for a listener with a heavy music oriented tastes, if the lyrics are not mandatory feature. The simplicity of the songs underline the playing quality, and whilst in Led Zeppelin John used to play only basic lines backing up the other band, here his polished playing abilities get in my opinion a more deserved space.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. John Paul Jones' second album "Zooma" released in 1999 blows away anything that either Plant or Page have done post LED ZEPPELIN. This is very powerful music with thunderous bass from Jones who usually uses his 10 or 12 string bass on here. Jones thanks Robert Fripp in the liner notes, Fripp would guest on Jones' followup "Thunderthief" released in 2001. I am a huge fan of this style of music and to hear this kind of bass playing from the former ZEPPELIN member makes me both happy and sad. Happy that he's showing the world how amazing he is, and that I own this record, and sad that his playing wasn't more prominant with his former band. I could just imagine him playing bass like this with the mighty ZEP.

"Zooma" is the perfect opener and is best played extremlely loud. It opens with the sound of sea gulls and waves, but don't be fooled because there is a storm coming like nothing you've ever experienced. Haha. Jones comes in on his 10 string bass and shakes the foundations. Oh my ! Talk about the bass from hell ! The drums are heavy and we get this sick guitar solo later. Some strange sounds from an instrument called a kyma that fits the mood perfectly. Monster track. "Grind" opens with an amazing melody that sounds so good. Some massive bass comes and goes. Jones has his 12 string bass out for this one and he's making sounds that are coming from the depths. There's a brief conversation part way through.Trey Gunn follows that up with a touch guitar solo as the drums pound and the bass shakes the windows. "The Smile Of Your Shadow" is mellow with mandola, bass and something called a djembe. Drums and a fuller sound before 3 1/2 minutes before it settles back down.

"Goose" sounds incredible when it kicks into gear around 40 seconds in. Killer bass as usual. Fantastic rhythm.You have to hear this guy's bass man. A 12 string bass that should come with a warning label. A wall of sound after 4 minutes then it calms down until it ends. "Bass n' Drums" is simply that, but it's not as powerful as most of the songs. "B.Fingers" hits the ground running, no it digs up the ground actually. A deep and powerful onslaught from hell. Trey Gunn's back with his touch guitar but the bass and drums are eating him up. Great song ! "Snake Eyes" opens with deep, deep bass sounds as drums and some steel bass. There's a blues vibe to this one early and Jones treats us with an organ solo too before 3 minutes. Nice. Later we get some orchestration from the London Symphony Orchestra which is a nice touch. Check out the organ that's still ripping it up. Incredible ! One of the best tracks on here.

"Nosumi Blues" is another blues flavoured track with the bass lap steel guitar. Man can Jones play guitar or what ? Bass and drums 2 1/2 minutes in. "Tidal" brings us back to the 10 string bass as drums pound. This is tight man. Heavy duty too. The bass lap steel makes some noise 2 minutes in as it turns into absolute chaos.

This is so close to 5 stars for me. 7 of these tracks will rip your face off the other 2 I think are to show he's human. He can't fool me though.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Zooma has been criminally overlooked on this site. Maybe it's because not many cared to check out a John Paul Jones album released in 1999 or just that most people don't know that his discography is on Prog Archives. Personally I really hope that it's the latter and I'm looking forward to reading many more reviews in the near future!

After listening to this album I have finally realized why Robert Plant / Jimmy Page-solo albums never sounded as good as their work in Led Zeppelin. All of the best songs were actually contributed by Mr. John Paul Jones! And this instrumental album actually proves it one crunchy bass line at a time!

Zooma is one really heavy album that will most likely put many of Led Zepplin compositions to shame. I'm not talking about the production values which are understandably superior to Zeppelin's 70's records but Zooma is dominated by the heavy sounding bass which really makes these compositions almost sound like the later King Crimson material. This can actually also be contributed to Trey Gunn soloing on some of the tracks with a Crimsonesque type of vibe.

This is truly a must have album for fans of heavy prog music. So if you are lucky enough to find this album, grab it and never let go!

***** star songs: Zooma (5:52) Goose (4:58) B. Fingers (5:26) Tidal (4:20)

**** star songs: Grind (5:20) The Smile Of Your Shadow (5:50) Bass 'N' Drums (2:32) Snake Eyes (7:32)

*** star songs: Nosumi Blues (5:48)

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Second ex-Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones solo album is the best of all three he is released till now (2010). From the very first seconds you will hear that energetic rhythm section pulsation, and you will stay with it all album long.

Pete Thomas,album's drummer, is real hero of this record as well - it's often quite difficult to say if this album isn't drummer's solo release. Paul Leary is competent guitarist and Trey Gunn's Warr guitar sound in many places gives you very Crimsonian feeling.

I have quite mixed feeling after some listening of this album though. Great energy, some groove and very competent musicianship from one side, and quite simplistic, straightforward compositions from the other. Bluesy roots here and there. Missing link between Led Zeppelin and post-80 King Crimson?

Possibly yes, but never as good as Led Zeppelin or King Crimson itself. Easy accessible music though, could have more fans I believe.In many places I felt Plant vocals would be a great improve of the compositions.

Very competent album, my rating is 3+.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 really

First album named Zooma of this legendary bassist/keyboardist from ex Led zeppelin John Paul Jones. This is a groovy kind of album where his bass is all over the places, lots of great chops here with plenty of experimental twists and atmosphere. All album is instrumental and on each tune JPJ show that he is apt to call him one of the best and most influencel bass players ever. Zooma has many great moments on pieces like Zooma, Grind or Bass n' Drums. The album overall has a progressive direction and the arrangements are intricate and well performed. This a a fairly solid album that will please most of the experimental instrumental albums with crunchy bass parts. very nice one. 3.5 stars.

Review by admireArt
4 stars AHHH! Timing; being there at the right time and place. In a Prog-perfect world this "jewel" would not be buried in "oblivion land". This effort will be by far more appreciated by "Russian Circle, "Lite", kind of people and followers. Instrumental based (no vocals), solid, daring, creative; non-stop and yes perfectly executed by post/Rock X-Monster band: bassist, keyboardist and arranger John Paul Jones, or plain J.P.J. (If we come to terms; that he was the prog-oriented guy in the "ZEP" machine). Some songs of course are heavy-prog oriented; but in the long run it is more than evident the weight he carried of the "LED". Musical diversity was always attributed to him by fellow members; he brought along different flavors and spices to Led Zeppelins's kitchen. Well skilled multi- instrumentalist; composer with classical training. He was, to be clear the soul of that band (alongside long gone drummer John Bonham) and that soul was transposed into this, his first album outside the Zeppelin. (Skipping of course the "Scream" o.s.t project). ZOOMA makes you realize how well defined his language is. A sum of the parts, made the Zep what they were, and JPJ was more than just a perfect bass player for Jimmy Page or the band.

He also hid some "big tricks" under the Zep's big hat.!!.. If the "riffs" were not Jimmy's they were "Jonesy's". But, as a well versed multi-instrumentals, he is also well aquainted with less prog oriented flavors like country, rag, funk and also the Renaissance-like styled compositions. (Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" prog-funk orientation is one of his evident contributions to the band, as "No-Quarter"; one of the most prog oriented, Zeppelin songs.) ZOOMA, Is a sum of all his talents freed into a self owned and titled album. The experience is quiet a thrill, being for starters, that JPJ stands outside the "Zep's" enormous shadow, but would not sacrifice his own language and intention, in the way. So this project is more directed towards un-structured experimentations-like songs, (very un-Zep), within a limited range, of course.

The use of opposite styles, prog and not, are wisely used, as not to become the songs themselves but part of the "whole" song. So with a touch of different styles in some songs, the "transitition", turns out more like a "Jonesy" project than Zep's.

ZOOMA has well structured solid Heavy-Prog songs, but also different directions and flavors in some others. ****4 "Daring good-excellent album" Stars. Prog and not, but kind of HEAVY..

Latest members reviews

5 stars 4.5: the first really solo album by John Paul Jones, the legendary bassist/keyboardist and the most progressive influence of Led zeppelin music. The music in this one is really heavy prog combined with ambient music, it has a lot of influences of King Crimson, as one of their members Trey Gunn pa ... (read more)

Report this review (#2136163) | Posted by mariorockprog | Wednesday, February 13, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'll begin this review by saying that Led Zeppelin and King Crimson are my two favorite bands. Overall, this album by LPJ sounds more like a demo than a finished product. That is really unfortunate. I hear a lot of good foundations and ideas that could have been further developed into outst ... (read more)

Report this review (#964786) | Posted by dragonspirit | Friday, May 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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