Brass Orchestra

The Brass Orchestra

by J.J. Johnson
     
 
J.J. Johnson finds himself at the helm of a dream band here -- a full brass orchestra with French horns, euphoniums, tubas, and a harp -- and gets to exploit its possibilities wherever they might lead. The results are beyond category, where the veteran trombonist's writing has a feathery richness, urbanity, and a depth charge in the bass reminiscent of, but not really

Overview

J.J. Johnson finds himself at the helm of a dream band here -- a full brass orchestra with French horns, euphoniums, tubas, and a harp -- and gets to exploit its possibilities wherever they might lead. The results are beyond category, where the veteran trombonist's writing has a feathery richness, urbanity, and a depth charge in the bass reminiscent of, but not really indebted to, Gil Evans. There is plenty of straight-ahead jazz grooving but also several episodes of formal, almost classical writing, as in the suitably joyous "If I Hit the Lottery," and rigorous combinations of both, like the angular tribute to Béla Bartók, "Canonn for Bela." The generous Johnson doesn't even appear on a piece he commissioned from Robin Eubanks called "Cross Currents" -- Eubanks performs the sputtering trombone solo -- nor on Slide Hampton's blazing "Comfort Zone." He also revisits some of his early third stream experiments from the '50s and '60s; "Ballad for Joe" derives from his "Poem for Brass" and "Horn of Plenty" and "Ballade" from the Perceptions album (the latter two sound a bit staid under the current light). Johnson's own trombone solos are always imaginative, authoritative, and irresistibly swinging; at 72, he plays as well here as he ever did. This is a must-buy for all J.J. fans and those who thought that the third stream could never rise again.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/29/1997
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0731453732124
catalogNumber:
537321

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

J.J. Johnson   Primary Artist,Trombone
Robin Eubanks   Trombone
Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Slide Hampton   Conductor
Rufus Reid   Bass
Renee Rosnes   Piano
Lew Soloff   Trumpet
Eddie Henderson   Trumpet
Howard Johnson   Tuba
Joe Wilder   Trumpet
Victor Lewis   Drums
John Clark   French Horn
Milton Cardona   Percussion
Bob Carlisle   French Horn
Tom Everett   Conductor
Joseph Alessi   Trombone
Bruce Bonvissuto   Euphonium
Danny Cahn   Trumpet
Dan Faulk   Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Earl Gardner   Trumpet
Kevin Johnson   Percussion
Douglas Purviance   Trombone
Jim Pugh   Trombone
Alan Raph   Euphonium
Byron Stripling   Trumpet
Steve Turre   Trombone
Marshall Sealy   French Horn
Chris Komer   French Horn
Joe Shepley   Trumpet
Freddie Santiago   Percussion
Francesca Corsi   Harp
Andy Rodgers   Tuba

Technical Credits

Don Sickler   Producer
Jim Anderson   Engineer
Stanley Crouch   Liner Notes
J.J. Johnson   Composer,Producer
Richard Seidel   Producer
Chika Azuma   Art Direction
Anna M. Sala   Assistant Production Coordination

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