Reissue of 1976 album ‘Joy’: Chris Francis, James Dvorak, Frank Roberts, Ernest Mothle, Keith Bailey

music jazz

Originally released in 1976 on vinyl, the eponymous album ‘Joy’ (Chris Francis, James Dvorak, Frank Roberts, Ernest Mothle, Keith Bailey) reflected the young, multicultural, vibrant flavors of mid-70s London. Cadillac Records contacted the remaining members of the band (sadly the great South African bassist Ernest Mothle is deceased) to find that the band’s drummer, Keith Bailey, was already working on a reissue. Going back to the master tapes proved fruitful and the result is a reissue of the LP for collectors, and also of a CD with extra material.

Joy Album Cover

The Beginning of Joy

In a recent interview with saxophonist Chris Francis, he discussed his background in music and how he met Frank Roberts at an event connected to NYJO. After discovering their shared passion for jazz, they joined forces with Keith Bailey and Jim Dvorak to form ‘The Quintet’, which was later rebranded as ‘Joy’. The new band had a marketable offering and worked together on marketing, graphic design, and print for their publicity materials. They contacted local radio stations and BBC Radio for national coverage, eventually securing their record deal with John Jack.

Life on the London Jazz Scene

The London jazz scene in the mid-70s was friendly but very competitive, with musicians vying for a limited number of gigs. Winning the GLAA competition jointly with Landscape made a massive difference for Joy, as it led to greater recognition and exposure on both BBC and commercial radio.

After Joy

Following his time with Joy, Chris Francis continued playing and forming new bands to showcase his compositions. He recorded the Herm Island Suite on Radio 3 with Paul Rogers and Nigel Morris and worked on various other collaborations, including albums like ‘Sketch’ and ‘Ming Hat’. Chris is still actively composing and now plays tenor and soprano sax, and flute, in addition to alto sax.

In 2023, Chris is still writing music, teaching saxophone, painting, drawing, and engaging in photography. Life has come full circle since the heady days of the 1970s when he and his bandmates tried to bring some joy to audiences.

To purchase the reissued Joy album on LP or CD, visit Cadillac Records’ website or Bandcamp.

About Me

I’m Dr. Miles Beaumont from the charming town of York in the UK. I’ve spent over three decades as a medical doctor, helping people and contributing to important research. I graduated from Oxford University, and ever since, I’ve devoted myself to improving the health and lives of others.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you’ll find me soaking up the world of jazz music. It’s been a passion of mine since I turned 30, and I’ve been an active part of York’s jazz scene ever since. Whether it’s going to local gigs, listening to records at home, or just enjoying the rhythmic and improvisational magic of jazz, it’s a big part of who I am.