It wasn’t until the turn of the century that he finally released proper albums under his own name. By then he had hooked up with Robert Fripp’s Discipline Global Mobile operation, which still strives to put the composer and performer first. Indeed, the first two tracks on 1999’s Zooma sound very much in line with that decade’s version of King Crimson, and not just because Trey Gunn is in the credits. The majority of the instrumentation comes from the man whose name is on the spine, via basses of multiple string quantities, lap steel guitars, mandolas and keyboards. (Of the two credited drummers, one is modern session rat Denny Fongheiser, and the other is Pete Thomas, best known from Elvis Costello’s Attractions.) Of the nine tracks, most could qualify as prog, all extremely toe-tapping, with some quieter atmospherics for variety. He even brings in members of the London Symphony Orchestra for one track. The listener will find him or herself looking at the credits to discover that more often than not, it’s Jonesy himself playing the screaming lead.
For whatever reason, he hasn’t released a third album, seemingly content to collaborate with others, in different genres. As it is, Zooma and The Thunderthief remain enjoyable listens for diehard Zeppelin fans—and certainly Crimson fans—and are at least as enjoyable as some of the stuff Page and Plant did on their own.