28 abr. 2011

J J Johnson

I'm listening to some J. . Johnson on WKCR in New York (streaming off the internet.) "The Eminent J. J. Johnson" is the album. I can tell it's vinyl because of the scratch on the record.


This is a mid-tempo (on the slowish side), very swinging tune in the hard-bop style. After playing the head of the JJJ takes a trombone solo for one chorus, then a very nice tenor sax. Now comes the piano. I think the DJ said it was Horace Silver. It definitely sounds like him. None of the solos were brilliant, but the groove of the tune was very deep.

[ ?? ]

Now a slow ballad. Johnson plays the head alone, the melody of the tune with some embellishments. A piano solo, a different kind of style than on the first tune. I think I heard the DJ say Hank Jones, and it could definitely be him. The trombone again, with an assertive but low-key improvisation. Very tasty.


A faster tune, very beboppy. Johnson seems unhurried in his first chorus, gains intensity in his second, but still has a relaxed rather than frantic feel. The tenor sax follows, then the piano.

"Time After Time"

A slower tempo for the classic ballad "Time After Time." JJJ excels at ballads because of his clear and authoritative tone. He improvises in a way that makes you think that he making the best possible choices at all moments, with no tentativeness.


A final bebop number. JJ starts us off with another assertive solo. Then the tenor player again. I forgot who she said this was. [Later: Hank Mobley. Then a trumpet (Clifford Brown, though not a classic solo from him). I'm really into the drum sound here.