The J.J. Johnson Memorial Album

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
When J.J. Johnson passed away in 2001, he left a legacy as simply the greatest technically gifted and most admired jazz trombonist in history without much valid argument to the contrary. This compilation features some very good tracks with Johnson as a sideman in or leader from the late '40s up to 1957, as a full-blown frontman in the '70s and '80s, and in small duos or trios up to 1983. Discographical sleuths will note this is not an all-time greatest-"hits" package, due to the absence of his great Savoy, Blue Note, Bethlehem, RCA Bluebird, Columbia, Impulse or 1990s Verve label efforts. These tracks are collected from the family of Prestige, Riverside, Milestone, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
When J.J. Johnson passed away in 2001, he left a legacy as simply the greatest technically gifted and most admired jazz trombonist in history without much valid argument to the contrary. This compilation features some very good tracks with Johnson as a sideman in or leader from the late '40s up to 1957, as a full-blown frontman in the '70s and '80s, and in small duos or trios up to 1983. Discographical sleuths will note this is not an all-time greatest-"hits" package, due to the absence of his great Savoy, Blue Note, Bethlehem, RCA Bluebird, Columbia, Impulse or 1990s Verve label efforts. These tracks are collected from the family of Prestige, Riverside, Milestone, and Pablo recordings, and while all selections here are quite good, they are not his definitive works. Still, everything here is well rendered, and a few pieces are indeed definitive. The pre-1957 tracks include the Coleman Hawkins deeply rich, horn-saturated septet from 1946 tackling Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You" with Johnson, Fats Navarro, Hank Jones, Max Roach, and the completely obscure alto saxophonist Porter Kilbert. Johnson is teamed with Sonny Rollins and Kenny Dorham in the swirling lines of "Elysee," and Sonny Stitt in the slow "Blue Note" both featuring John Lewis. The Charles Mingus film noir style obscurity "Chazzanova," with four trombonists, the true bop classic "Blue 'n' Boogie" with Miles Davis, Lucky Thompson, and Horace Silver, Johnson, and Kai Winding's take of "Bags Groove," and Benny Golson's unusual harmonics during "Hymn to the Orient" with Dorham and Roach -- all have to be considered standouts. The compilation leaps to 1977 as "Horace" is a soul-jazz bopper with Nat Adderley on trumpet and Billy Childs playing Fender Rhodes electric piano. The memorable post-bop "Pinnacles" has what must be an all-time great configuration with Joe Henderson, Tommy Flanagan on piano and clavinet, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Billy Higgins in tow. The CD ends with "Concepts in Blue," marred by a synthesizer add-on, three intimate sessions, two of them duets with Joe Pass and a trio featuring Pass and Oscar Peterson, plus the finale "Soft Winds" in a sextet featuring tinkling percussion, a great contribution from Kenny Barron, and Johnson alongside fellow 'bonist Al Grey. Though the first half of this collection is pretty solid, the second is hit or miss. Though all cuts remain credible, the uneven nature of this collection, and its lack of a comprehensive focus, makes this an incomplete but still tasteful look at the mighty career of the great J.J. Johnson.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2003
  • Label: Prestige
  • UPC: 025218312523
  • Catalog Number: 11025

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Mean You - Coleman Hawkins (3:07)
  2. 2 Elysee - Jay Jay Johnson (3:10)
  3. 3 Blue Mode - Jay Jay Johnson (3:46)
  4. 4 Chazzanova - Kai Winding (5:01)
  5. 5 Blue 'N' Boogie - Miles Davis (8:19)
  6. 6 Bags' Groove - Kai Winding (3:15)
  7. 7 Laura - Coleman Hawkins (4:36)
  8. 8 Hymn to the Orient - Benny Golson (4:14)
  9. 9 Horace (7:08)
  10. 10 Pinnacles (6:42)
  11. 11 Jaylock - Count Basie (7:17)
  12. 12 Concepts in Blue (7:59)
  13. 13 Misty (3:13)
  14. 14 What's New? (3:03)
  15. 15 Nature Boy - Jay Jay Johnson (2:32)
  16. 16 Soft Winds (4:23)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
J.J. Johnson Primary Artist, Trombone
Nat Adderley Trumpet
Count Basie Piano
Ron Carter Bass
Miles Davis Trumpet
Kenny Dorham Trumpet
Tommy Flanagan Piano, Clavinet
Al Grey Trombone
Jake Hanna Drums
Billy Higgins Drums
Hank Jones Piano
Jo Jones Drums
Wynton Kelly Piano
Charles Mingus Bass
Fats Navarro Trumpet
Joe Pass Guitar
Oscar Peterson Piano
Oscar Pettiford Bass
Max Roach Drums
Sonny Rollins Tenor Saxophone
Horace Silver Piano
Sonny Stitt Tenor Saxophone
Lucky Thompson Tenor Saxophone
Willie Dennis Trombone
Leonard Gaskin Bass
John Heard Bass
Dick Katz Piano
Dave Carey Percussion
Coleman Hawkins Tenor Saxophone
Al Harewood Drums
Percy Heath Bass
Kenny Barron Keyboards
Nelson Boyd Bass
Ray Brown Bass
Clark Terry Trumpet
Kenny Clarke Drums
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Tenor Saxophone
Tony Dumas Bass
Barry Galbraith Guitar
Benny Golson Tenor Saxophone
Bennie Green Trombone
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet
Porter Kilbert Alto Saxophone
Peck Morrison Bass
Mickey Roker Drums
Curly Russell Bass
Idrees Sulieman Trumpet
Ernie Watts Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Kai Winding Trombone
John Richard Lewis Piano
Billy Childs Trio Keyboards
Technical Credits
Benny Goodman Composer
Barney Bigard Composer
Norman Granz Producer
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer
J.J. Johnson Arranger, Composer, Producer
Orrin Keepnews Producer
Ed Michel Producer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Harvey Pekar Liner Notes
Joe Tarantino Remastering
Jamie Putnam Art Direction
Bill Grauer Jr. Producer
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