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Return To Jazz Of Lights

Bill Nelson

album - 14 October 2006

Return To Jazz Of Lights - Cover
Return To Jazz Of Lights Page 4


01)  Return To Jazz Of Lights     

02)  Fearless Beauty (Kisses And Cream)     

03)  Mysterious Chemicals Of Love

04)  It's A Big World And I'm In It (The Great Rememberer)     

05)  October Sky     

06)  For You And I     

07)  Velocity Dansette     

08)  Now Is Not And Never Was     

09)  Windswept     

10)  Always You     

11)  Steam Radio Blues     

12)  All These Days Are Gone (For Ian)


Return to Jazz of Lights is a mainly vocal album issued on the Sonoluxe label in a one off print run of 1000 copies.  The cover features a photograph of Nelson's wife Emiko taken on her 20th birthday on the driveway of her parents' house in Japan in the 1960s.  The final track "All These Days Are Gone (For Ian)" is a tribute to the artist's younger brother Ian Nelson, who passed away on his 50th birthday on 23 April 2006.  The album was first made available at Nelsonica '06 before going on general sale through S.O.S two days later.  Return to Jazz of Lights sold out in January 2014.  


Available for purchase as a digital download in the Dreamsville Store.

Secret Club For Members Only, Here Comes Mr Mercury, Arcadian Salon, Silvertone Fountains,
Illuminated At Dusk, Mazda Kaleidoscope, Rosewood One, Rosewood Two
, Luxury Wonder Moments



"As some of you have discovered, (possibly to your surprise), it's not REALLY a jazz album at all, but an album that simply is inspired by jazz.  At its root, it is an almost genre-less collection of melodic, positive and heartfelt songs.  You'll hear touches of many of my musical interests in there, from pop and rock to blues and electronica..."

"As for 'jazz', there's a jazz influence in nearly all of my guitar work, even the old Be Bop Deluxe stuff!  I've listened to jazz since I was a teenager, even before that, as my father played some jazz as a saxophonist.  I love the genre, (which actually covers a LOT of different ground).  I try to find a way to have some jazz sensibility in everything I do, without it being limited to just jazz."

" "Windswept" is one of my favourites on the album.  I was writing that song around the time my brother passed away and it suddenly took on a new significance.  One of the things I'm particularly proud of with this album is the vocals.  I think I've found a comfortable place for my more 'mature' voice with these songs.  It's an album that, for me at least, marries emotion and intellect in a harmonious way and without strain or pretension.  It's a very direct, unmasked statement."

"The front cover photo' of Emiko was taken in the drive of her parents house and the Jaguar car in the background belonged to her father, (who also took the picture).

The original photographs were somewhat over saturated and rather 'orangey' but I manipulated them in photoshop to create a sort of '50s/'60s technicolour movie tint.  I wanted them to look as if they were stills from an early James Bond movie, something that the viewer might read a storyline into."

On the cover:  "The Verve/Blue Note thing was exactly what I had in mind, and my lovely wife Emiko is the perfect model.  Isn't she beautiful?"

"I can't tell you how pleased I am at the number of positive comments I've received regarding the Return to Jazz of Lights album.  It's gratifying to know that so many of you have picked up on and enjoyed its moods and also understood the general onward thrust of my music over the years.  It's thanks to fans such as yourselves that I gain the confidence to follow my muse and take these leaps into what, for me, is always exciting territory."

"I was working up here in my studio last night.  Downstairs I could hear that Emiko was playing the Return to Jazz of Lights album on the dining room stereo.  After a while, it finished.  A couple of seconds later, Emi appeared in the doorway of my studio room.  Visibly moved, she just said, "It's SO beautiful."  Well, she' bound to be biased to some degree...I am her husband after all and she IS on the cover, but she genuinely felt moved by the album.  I couldn’t wish for a better appraisal.  When the one you love most deeply digs your work, that's all that really matters."



"Bill has done it again, transcending a whole genre and taking another huge creative leap into unknown territory.  Ever since the Romance of Sustain album, it seems to me, each official release seems to confound expectations as to what Bill will do next, and Jazz is certainly no exception.

Whereas Sailor Bill slowly revealed (and continues to reveal) its intricate pop melodies over repeated listenings, Jazz drilled directly into my pleasure center immediately.  This record has amazing energy and I can easily picture Bill and a tight little combo tearing through these tunes with vigorous abandon in a smokey jazz club.

I doubt if I can add anything brilliant too all that has already been said here.  Suffice to say that this is as strong a set of songs as Bill has ever produced and it’s a most worthy addition to his ever growing catalog."

"Bill's vocal chops are quite extraordinary lately.  Not only Arcadian Salon, but especially on Jazz of Lights.  A true singers album, and I think has some of Bill's best vocal performances ever."


"Return to Jazz of Lights only comes close to what some may call Jazz on the opening title track, the rest of the album is essentially pop.  It's an album that stands out in that it has its own individual style.  A life affirming vibe on this album."

"The guitar playing throughout the album is just sublime.  The tone that Bill delivers is on a level that only the very best achieve, so warm!...It's Jazz, but it's Bill Nelson Jazz!"


"This wonderful album is a must's got less to do with jazz and more to do with Bill - if anybody is put off by the title - forget's a nod to jazz in my humble opinion...and a wonderful nod at that...but it's one of Bill's best ever as far as I'm get the bloody thing before it goes...mad if ya don't."


"Jazz of Lights turned out to be a total delight.  I should have known that it wouldn't be a straight jazz album.  While it is primarily a jazz album, it also features blues, pop, and other guitar styles over jazz backdrops.  The song "Windswept", may be the most beautiful melody Bill has ever composed.  The whole album pumps and jumps along nicely, with a wonderful energy that leaves a warm afterglow after the last song fades out.  Miss this one at your own risk!"


"I figured it would probably be a strictly instrumental album with really long meandering jazz tracks, with out much form, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  Great album, and I find myself humming the tunes as they are stuck in my head all the time now!"

Mick Winsford:

"It's a great CD.  Don't be fooled by the Jazz reference in the title - there are strains of Jazz for sure but its not the dominant style.  The closing track "All These Days Are Gone (For Ian)" is simply pure class."

Sandwich Man:

"Jazz of Lights is so cool.  After seeing Bill do his guitar seminar and play bits of videos of his guitar heros, it brings a real insight into this album.  It's smooth, beautifully constructed like Sailor Bill and the songs are varied.
Bill, how can you keep producing such great works?  Totally different direction but so wonderful.
The bar is raised yet again!  In fact I'm going to stop typing this and listen to it again."


"Have to say it's hands down one of Nelson's best records in some time--which is exactly what I said about Satellite Songs!  In fact, his vocal records over the last two or three years have been absolutely spectacular, unexpected career highlights in an amazing's instantly accessible and yet richly textured at the same time, with mind-boggling guitar playing and lush, catchy melodies."


"My Favourite Bill Nelson albums now are Jazz of Lights and the Rosewoods.  I love Bill eclecticism and diversity.  I hope Bill lives long and prospers, because true individual artists are very thin on the ground in this time of production line mass produced wannabes."


"One song got my heart: "Velocity Dansette".  I wonder why no one in this forum has talked about it... it's incredible!  It's one of the best musics Bill has ever recorded - and this is something.  The lyrics, the guitar, piano, drums, they are all wonderful.  Above all, his voice in this song is something to sit back and listen.  Thank you, Bill!"

Catherine Bradder:

"I just love Jazz of Lights, and I'm sat listening to it now, relaxing and dreaming and loving the music,
it's all oh so rich.  Just simply rich to sink into and enjoy.  Thank you."


"I was (gently) blown away.  Driving the rural backroads the other day and I placed Jazz of Lights in the deck for the first time; suddenly I'm back in the 'Sixties with my Dad talking about the jazz music on the radio, as he attempted to explain to me how to follow the melodies' shifts and swerves.  Through "..Chemicals" and "October Sky", "Windswept" and "Steam Radio Blues" and on, happily navigating the winding roads with the music playing loud, it all came back to me.  How your music manages to do this is still a sweet mystery to me, but I sure appreciate it.  Dad (long gone now) was a clarinet player way back but everyday life and work took it away from him and he sorely regretted losing his chops, but I really believe he would have enjoyed this album.  Even from a young rebel like you!

Dig those crooning vocals, and your guitar lines never cease to pop an occasional warm tear from the corner of my eye.  I'm always afraid to sound like just another sycophantic dweeb when I post but...wherever you want to go with your music...just go - you're just so damned coool!"


"I even hear touches of lounge and exotica in Return to Jazz of Lights.  I feel the really quality stuff from that genre, like Les Baxter and Martin Denny, had lots of the same devil may care attitude of tossing up and intermingling styles and sounds from all sources.  That spirit of adventure is one of the things I've always loved about your music Bill.  And I have only noticed it increase with each album, especially since around the Atom Shop and Noise Candy times.  Thanks once again for the music and inspiring words."


"Folks, I'm delighted.  I got RTJOL a week ago and I just love it, but more to the point, so do my cows.  I got 89 of Ayrshire's finest dairy cattle in Scotland and I've been playing them RTJOL during milking for a week.  Not only has production gone up 6%, an enormous amount, but they are all mellow and behaving themselves.  Even Jessica, who is a cantankerous and evil old crow at the best of times, has a jolly swagger in her back end when I play "Fearless Beauty".  The last time I saw an effect like this was when I played Barry White to them years ago, but that made me grumpy so I gave it up.

Bill, many thanks for more wonderful music and for increasing my income. It looks like I'll be able to get shoes for the bairns feet this Xmas after all."


"Very evocative and timeless, it takes me back to many places I have passed through in my life, reminding me of people, places and experiences.

"All These Days Are Gone" is a gorgeous tear-jerker (so beautiful, Bill), while "Steam Radio Blues" hits a chord with me, missing and always remembering my dad tinkering in his woodshop....

And the cigarette smoke was stinging my eyes listening to "Windswept' (I think the slightly world-weary blonde at the end of the bar was making eyes at me over a watered-down bourbon and soda)...

I'm going to put another nickel in the jukebox (maybe "Fearless Beauty" this time) and go over and say hi to that blonde....the night is young (even if I'm not) and the music is right."

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