Travels from Jazz to Pop With His 3rd Album, The Rules
On February 24, 2023
The West-Coast British transplant hones in on songwriting with his mixed genres of Jazz, House, and Pop
Jonny Tarr sets his eyes on releasing his third album, The Rules, on Pacific Records to the world, on February 24, 2023. Recorded and produced by him at Tarr Towers Studios, Jonny, a multi-instrumentalist with piano, guitar, and saxophone, mixes his traditional jazz upbringing and contemporary music education from Paul McCartney’s Performing Arts School with modern house music and pop elements that mold into place, creating a soulful vibe. The album is a response to the past few years of world chaos and emotional wreckage filled with messages of love and hope; The Rules will answer all your questions.
AND I DON’T WANT TO BE WAITING STEADILY FADING
I WANT TO SEE INSIDE THE TRUTH
‘CAUSE I JUST WANNA EXPLODE OUT INTO THE COSMOS
POURING ALL OF MY LIGHT RIGHT INTO YOU – “Across The Event Horizon”
The Rules opens up with the album title song as Jonny’s tenor voice pierces through as he realizes the girl that just left him was way out of his league. Another stand-out song, “Across The Event Horizon,” has a saxophone intro that grows into a song that legendary artist Seal would love: “This song is about love being the reason for human existence. It’s lush, vast, and yet personal. When you have those moments, you are reminded that nothing else matters but love and the person you feel it for.”
Jonny’s album could be something from Sting, David Bowie, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Howard Jones, with some significant grooves reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and Sly & The Family Stone. Tarr dives into the human psyche with songs like “Thin Air” that deal with the sudden death of a friend and all the unanswered questions that come with it. “Paradise In Your Eyes” is about parenting and the life-changing steps you take each day, featuring his daughter singing on the track. In the song “Hidden Bottles,” Jonny addresses the passing of his father and how it made him take note of “the repercussions and the long-term effects of his influence on me, but how it has made me reassess and reevaluate what I thought to be right.”
I REACHED OUT THROUGH THE FOG OF PAST YEARS
BUT TOO OFTEN, IT FELL ON DEAF EARS
I’M GONNA MISS YOU, AND THAT MUCH IS TRUE
NOW ALL I GOT IS STORIES OF HIDING BOTTLES WITH YOU – “Hidden Bottles”
Jonny is originally from Wales and moved to California about nine years ago; he fell in love with the laid-back style and sunshine of the Golden State. He fell in love, married, and had a child, performing around San Diego at various venues, festivals, and private events. He was able to form groups to back him up in various formations, from solo to five to six-member bands.
Jonny has been lucky enough to open for legendary acts like The Victor Wooten Trio, OZOMATLI, and The Family Stone (he has a great stage story to share). He has shared the stage with Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP and multi-Grammy award-winning Bebe Winans. His past recordings have been in live settings, private studios, and other various places to create his sound, as he calls it, “Electronic Soul.”
“… sounds influenced by electronica, house beat, and fusion jazz while echoing such past icons as Michael Jackson and Sly and the Family Stone.” – San Diego Troubadour
Jonny attended Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts and was personally handed his degree by the legendary musician himself. Still, his favorite classes were with George Martin. After college, Jonny toured Europe, the U.S., and Japan; he played nearly every major festival in the U.K. and opened for people such as Goldie, The Egg, Breakbeat Era, and Gil Scott Heron during the early 2000s. Jonny was also part of the bands Part Time Heroes and The Nextmen (whose song ‘Rockets’ now has close to 6 million streams on Spotify at the time of this writing and was co-written and sung by Tarr). Tarr was one of the first people in Europe to play the saxophone with House music D.J.s, and during this time, he became interested in music that made people dance. “This is the music I wanted to create. I realized that the saxophone is not a songwriting tool, so I taught myself guitar and piano. I used my understanding of music theory to help me form bands and a unique solo show where I can pretty much incorporate all of my skills at once,” smiles Tarr.
As an artist, Jonny has never stopped evolving, so he could develop a solid sound to cut through the San Diego music scene. That hard work got noticed in 2020 when he was awarded Best Pop Artist in San Diego by The San Diego Music Foundation to support music programs in schools. “For his part, Tarr’s favorite thing about being a musician is “being my own boss,” he said. “Your level of success is pretty much down to you. You have to work incredibly hard on non-music-related things, and you might not always achieve things at the rate you set out to do. Still, there is a freedom to being a musician that I would not swap for anything,” states Jonny in a San Diego Reader interview back in 2020.
If you should ask Jonny who his influences are, they range from Jazz players to rock ‘n’ roll singers, Quincy Jones, Prince, and one legendary saxophonist “…one day, I hope to be able to play 10% as well as the great Michael Brecker.” Between Don Henley and Paul Desmond, toss in some electronic house music that would make Miles Davis smile. Jonny explains the epic trumpet player’s creative insight in his own words, “his constant quest to innovate and incorporate that which jazz purists would not have conceived of but also that which they might not have ‘approved of’ was pivotal in shaping music as we know it today. He blurred the lines and was totally unapologetic about it.”