A job of Work 

(Tales of the Great Recession)

A Job of Work (Tales of the Great Recession) is a jazz take on the economic collapse of '08 and our uneven return from it. This blues & ballad-rich album features E. J.'s re-arrangements of nine jazz standards, plus his jazz thoughts on three folk & country tunes (including Tom Paxton's title tune), to explore the impact the Great Recession has had on the lives of average people.

Economic hardship hit everyone in various ways. As with any extreme crisis, it tore many relationships apart, while forging others strongly together. A Job of Work tells stories from both sides, with hope being the takeaway. Few artists have mirrored or addressed these times head-on in their work, but E. J.'s A Job of Work attempts to do just that.

Four years in the making, A Job of Work (Tales of the Great Recession) is itself a child and a survivor of its topic, and has its own story to tell.

E. J.: "In late 2009, I was planning my next, mostly straight-ahead session. But I kept seeing pictures of foreclosure signs around the country, and stories of successful, normal folks forced to become migrants & sleep in their cars merely to survive, and the devastation this was causing. These kept eating at me. The song 'Cottage For Sale' kept running through my head, and I realized that the collapse was a topic big enough for is own album… somewhere down the line. But some things won't wait. Suddenly, the idea for a two-project session for recording the next two albums together was born. The core tracks for both albums were recorded over a three-day span—with the idea of releasing the straight-ahead effort that first year, with the statement album following a year later. Only..., life happens. I was laid off, too, right after we got the tracks down; then was repeatedly in and out of work as I gathered the funds to finish the straight-ahead album. But over this period, the statement album stole focus from the straight-ahead one, morphing from mere commentary into 'my story' as I continued working on it. Eventually, it made its case to be the first release. I actually feel my personal evolution makes A Job of Work a much stronger album—I've not just seen it, I've lived it. Life does imitate Art. Releasing the other, straight-ahead album, which focuses on the music of one of my deep-voice influences, the great Arthur Prysock, is now this year's project." The Prysock project is currently due in early 2016.

Full streams of the songs from A Job of Work (Tales of the Great Recession) on Candela Records are below. We hope you enjoy them.

If you would like to support new work and purchase A Job of Work or E. J.'s earlier While the City Sleeps…, click here.

IN MEMORY OF... Bobby Jackson, friend, mentor and A Job of Work liner notes author, who passed away in early December, 2013. Rest In Peace, my friend.

Read Bobby's liner notes for A Job of Work here.


1) A Job Of Work 2:51
(Tom Paxton) EMI U Catalog, Inc.

2) Street Of Dreams 4:04
(Victor Young / Sam M. Lewis) EMI Miller Catalog, Inc.

3) Come Rain Or Come Shine 5:32
(Johnny Mercer / Harold Arlen) WB Music Corp. / S.A. Music

4) Cottage For Sale 4:30
(Willard Robison / Larry Conley) Chappell & Co.

5) I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues 3:25
(Ted Koehler / Harold Arlen) Warner Bros. Music / S.A. Music

6) Lush Life 5:31
(Billy Strayhorn) Chrysalis Music, LLC

7) Much As I Love You 4:01
(Oscar Brown, Jr. / Luis Henriquez) Edward B. Marks Music Company

8) Born To Lose 4:28
(Ted Daffan) Peer International Corporation

9) Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out) 7:01
(Jimmie Cox) Universal Music Corporation

10) Everything I Have Is Yours 4:01
(Harold Adamson / Burton Lane) Songwriters Guild of America / Chappell & Co.

11) I'm Just A Lucky So And So 6:22
(Duke Ellington / Mack David) Sony-ATV Harmony / Universal-Polygram International

12) Where Is Love? 3:28
(Lionel Bart) Hollis Music Inc.


E. J. Decker – vocals, arranger, producer
Claire Daly – baritone saxophone
Elizabeth Frascoia – trombone
Les Kurtz – piano
Saadi Zain – bass
Tom Melito – drums

Michael Brorby, Acoustic Recording – tracking engineer
Paul Wickliffe, Skyline Productions – mix & mastering engineer
Bobby Jackson, The Jazz Mind – liner notes
Janis Wilkins, Artgraphica – photography

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Top photo/Album cover photo: Janis Wilkins