Rediscovering Lonnie Johnson

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Lonnie Johnson was arguably the first guitar gunslinger. Throughout his prolific 40-year career, he was continually amazing as a player, having single-handedly invented the concept of the lead guitar solo, both in a country blues context and in jazz settings (he worked with both Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, for example), and his playing pre-shadowed the work of Charlie Christian, T-Bone Walker, and many others. His pivotal role in the development of blues and jazz guitar often overshadows his equally striking abilities as a vocalist and songwriter, and he was a pure musician, equally proficient on violin, piano, banjo, mandolin, harmonium, and bass as well as ...
See more details below
This CD is Not Available through BN.com

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Lonnie Johnson was arguably the first guitar gunslinger. Throughout his prolific 40-year career, he was continually amazing as a player, having single-handedly invented the concept of the lead guitar solo, both in a country blues context and in jazz settings (he worked with both Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, for example), and his playing pre-shadowed the work of Charlie Christian, T-Bone Walker, and many others. His pivotal role in the development of blues and jazz guitar often overshadows his equally striking abilities as a vocalist and songwriter, and he was a pure musician, equally proficient on violin, piano, banjo, mandolin, harmonium, and bass as well as guitar. Johnson's life as a professional musician began in the mid-'20s and stretched all the way into the '60s, when his career was given an autumnal boost during the folk/blues revival With an elegant guitar style that helped bridge country blues and the more modern urban R&B sound while at the same time keeping a dialogue going between jazz and the blues, Lonnie Johnson was simply one of the most important guitarists of his generation. Even so, he is hardly a household name these days, even for contemporary guitarists whose very musical path was plowed by Johnson as far back as the 1920s. It's that relative obscurity that Philadelphia-based producer Aaron Luis Levinson sought to address with this tribute to Johnson's life and career. Using Philly musicians, including members of the bands Blues Anatomy and Real Live Horns, and with some vocal help from veteran Geoff Muldaur, Levinson has assembled a nice little set list of some of Johnson's key pieces, including the ragtime-inflected instrumentals "Playing with the Strings" and "Swing out Rhythm" (handled here by guitarist Jef Lee Johnson, himself a player who straddles the jazz and pop worlds), and "Careless Love," a song Johnson recorded originally in 1928 and returned to again at his final session 40 years later (here it is sung by Eddie Davis of Blues Anatomy). Throughout the set Jay Davidson's horn arrangements pay homage to period details on these songs without attempting to replicate the sound of a bygone era, and the result is a nice hybrid of then and now, modernizing Johnson's musical feel and tone without seriously distorting it into a foreign realm, a trick that is much easier said than done. Nothing, of course, can replace Johnson's original recordings, but this warm-sounding set does a nice job of paying homage to a truly remarkable musician.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • Label: Range Records
  • UPC: 186900000828
  • Catalog Number: 8

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 St. Louis Blues - Blues Anatomy (4:15)
  2. 2 Swing out Rhythm - Blues Anatomy (1:46)
  3. 3 I'm Not Rough - Blues Anatomy (2:57)
  4. 4 6-88 Glide - Blues Anatomy (2:57)
  5. 5 He's a Jelly Roll Baker - Blues Anatomy (3:29)
  6. 6 Have to Change Keys to Play These Blues - Blues Anatomy (3:05)
  7. 7 Broken Levee Blues - Blues Anatomy (4:23)
  8. 8 Bull Frog Moan - Blues Anatomy (2:42)
  9. 9 Careless Love - Blues Anatomy (4:20)
  10. 10 Ben Franklin Hotel Blues - Blues Anatomy (2:34)
  11. 11 Playing with the Strings - Blues Anatomy (2:38)
  12. 12 Tomorrow Night - Blues Anatomy (4:08)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jef Lee Johnson Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, 12-string Guitar, Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Geoff Muldaur Vocals, Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Jay Davidson Saxophone, Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Eddie Davis Vocals, Track Performer, Group Member
Steve Jankowski Trumpet, Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Joel "The Octopus" Mass Acoustic Guitar, Track Performer, Guitar (Resonator), Guest Appearance
Jared Melson Trombone, Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Rick Nollet Rhythm Guitar, Track Performer, Group Member
Real Live Horns Horn, Guest Appearance
Mike Suchodolski Organ, Piano, Track Performer, Group Member
Technical Credits
Lonnie Johnson Composer
W.C. Handy Composer
Louis Armstrong Composer
Jay Davidson Horn Arrangements
Martha E. Koenig Composer
Phil Nicolo Mastering
Spencer Williams Composer
Francis Davis Liner Notes
Joel "The Octopus" Mass Composer
Sam Coslow Composer
Aaron Luis Levinson Producer
Richard "Nappy" Myers Executive Producer
Will Grosz Composer
Dan Leider Executive Producer
Brian Ritrovato Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously