Jon Cleary & The Absolute Gentlemen Jon Cleary's considerable skills as a tunesmith he is equally renowned around the globe as an accomplished keyboardist and guitarist, and a deeply soulful vocalist. Cleary's thirty-five years of intensive hands-on work on the Crescent City scene has made him a respected peer of such New Orleans R&B icons as Dr. John and Allen Toussaint. Such diversity similarly characterizes the essence of Jon Cleary's work and career. While thoroughly steeped in the classic Crescent City keyboard from Jelly Roll Morton to Fats Domino to Art Neville, James Booker, and beyond. Cleary's uses that centuries worth of pianist brilliance as a point of departure to forge his own unique and eclectic style. As heard in the widely varied grooves and textures. Cleary's sound incorporates such far-flung influences as 70s soul, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean (and especially Afro-Cuban) rhythms and more. I love New Orleans R&B,Cleary explains. I'm a student of it and a fan,first and foremost. But there's little point in just going back and re-recording the old songs,although on my live solo shows, especially in New Orleans, I make a point of trying to keep the fast- disappearing tradition of the R&B pianist/singer alive by playing the old songs that are in danger of being forgotten. As for recording, however, I think the greatest New Orleans R&B records are the ones that built on what went before but also added something new. By writing new songs you get to channel all the music you absorb through your own individual set of filters and the fun is in seeing what emerges.