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Jon Cleary

He's an Absolute Monster


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Here’s what critics have been saying about Jon Cleary’s ‘Occapella! (Having Fun With the Songs of Allen Toussaint)’:

“Vocals from Bonnie Raitt and Dr. John sweeten the pot on this Allen Toussaint cover from the blues pianist’s new Occapella! album.” — Jerry Shriver, USA TODAY

“An indigenously funky collection of Allen Toussaint songs featuring guest stars Dr. John and, Cleary’s former boss lady, Bonnie Raitt.” — John Wirt, The Advocate

“The ‘Nawlins-based British singer, songwriter and pianist puts a funky spin on the catalog of icon Allen Toussaint.” — Edna Gunderson, USA TODAY

“This definitely goes down as a must have for fans of New Orleans music.”— Brad Hodge, Honest Tune

“Occapella! is 12 songs of pure pleasure.” — Steve Pick, Blurt magazine

“Every track is a tour de force of performing virtuosity, and every arrangement is captivating and memorable.” — Wesley Britton, Blog Critics

“Jon Cleary comes through on all fronts, shining like a shooting star across those Southern nights. His group, Absolute Monster Gentlemen, live up to their name with ease.” — Bill Bentley, The Morton Report

“No matter how Cleary does it, he adds his impeccable taste and smoothness to Toussaint’s standards.” - David Kunian, Gambit

“Occapella (Having Fun With the Songs of Allen Toussaint)” is, as the subtitle suggests, a loving reimagining of one of the most cherished catalogs in all of New Orleans music.” — Keith Spera, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“His creative renderings of Toussaint’s lesser-known gems layer this savory platter with funk and grease and ‘second line’ flavor.” — Bliss Bowen, Pasadena Weekly

“The album is a masterful update of some of Toussaint’s more obscure material.” — Andy Gordon, Jet Set Jen

“His voice is as fine as we’ve heard it, somewhere between Peter Tosh and Van Morrison. The percussion work on “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky” is brilliant, and the glistening organ on “Poor Boy Got to Move” is the sort of smart production the man himself appreciates.” — Brian Boyles, Offbeat

“Occapella!” effectively showcases Cleary’s abilities while paying tribute to one of the greats.” — Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News (Pittsburgh metro)

“Occapella! Is one of his best as it is infectious romp through the mind and music of New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint.” — David Bowling, Blog Critics

“Cleary upends these songs by winnowing them down to the core,capturing their essence and then using sparse arrangements that tap into not only the innate power of the music, but their colorful shadings.” —Michael Kinsman, Frogger Dogger

“There are unexpected twists and turns on this journey through the Toussaint songbook that will keep surprising you till the last piano glissando fades away.” — Arnaud Leger, West Coast Rendez-vous


Occapella 2012

Live: Mo Hippa  2008

Do Not Disturb EP  2007

Pin Your Spin 2004

Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen 2002

Moonburn 1999

Alligator Lips & Dirty Rice 1994


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