Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jazz-rock fusion with a percussive feel
Nate Olmos | Los Angeles, CA | 03/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a surprise to have stumbled upon this CD by percussionist David Earle Johnson, who doesn't seem to have many albums in print, let alone much of a solo discography. Granted, the co-billing of Jan Hammer (a mover and shaker during the heyday of jazz-rock fusion) on the CD cover may have convinced me that there was some worth to buying "Hip Address", but the music itself turned out to be rather good for the most part.Orignally released in 1980, "Hip Address" builds on the jazz-rock fusion Hammer created with both the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck, adding a more percussive feel to it courtesy of Johnson. Hammer and Johnson play all instruments, with Hammer playing drums in addition to his multiple keyboards. The duo are augmented by flutist Jeremy Steig on two tunes, "Bamboo Forest" and "Hip Address" (instrumental).Odd-metered tunes such as "Rebel Trot" and "Siete Para ti" and "Hip Address" (instrumental version) add a Latin-tinged influence thanks to Johnson's percussive assault using congas and timbales along with other exotic instuments such as an African Log, cuicas and kalimbas. Yet the music is not entirely geared towards dance-like rhythms ("Punk Luck", "Hip Address") and attempts at commercialism (the vocal tunes sung by Johnson are rather dated, but nonetheless charming in their own way). Tunes such as "Green and Black" and "Night" (the latter tune orignally from Hammer and Jerry Goodman's "Like Children" album from 1974) are displays of textures ranging from lush to moody. "Bamboo Forest" (originally released on Hammer's "Oh, Yeah?" in 1976) is a fierce jazz-rock workout with Hammer blazing with a fierce guitar-like synthesizer solo.This is definitely worth owning for Jan Hammer fanatics such as myself. However, Johnson pulls his musical weight by adding to Hammer's frenetic energy and stimulating musical dialogue throughout "Hip Address"."