"The beautiful voice of swing ..................."
In 1965, as a young girl, Salena Jones, was booked to appear for the first time at Ronnie Scott`s for two weeks.
However, such was the audience reaction that she was held over for another week, and then another:
eventually appearing for seven consecutive weeks - still a record for the club after this time!
Born in Newport News, Virginia, and a direct descendant of Crazy Horse, the
Indian Sioux warrior, Salena began singing in church and school before
making her debut on life's larger stages.
As a very young teenager, her career began at Manhattan's legendary Harlem
Apollo, when she won the amateur night singing "September Song". Salena grew
up in New York in the company of musicians who would become the legends:
Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Wes Montgomery, Chico Hamilton and
Stan Getz - she sang and jammed with all of these people, and began making
demonstration records for artists like Peggy Lee, Brenda Lee and Lena Horne,
before getting her own recording contract.
Based in New York, with her own "Blues Extra Orchestra", Salena toured
widely across the US with "King" Curtis in her band (whom she named), also
working with Johnnie Ray, Laverne Baker, Arthur Prysock, and Frankie Lyman.
Leonard Feather, the noted jazz critic for "Downbeat" magazine, named Salena
as one of the "most promising newcomers of 1964", together with "Peggy Lee,
Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme".
Glamorous and beautiful, with her distinctive voice and relaxed style, by
then she had met and sung with a breathtaking array of great jazz names. Her
photo album shows her arm in arm with everyone from Betty Carter to Cab
Calloway, Billy Eckstine, Vic Damone, Lena Horne and Kenny Burrell.