Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Was he human?
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 07/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Clark Terry used to tell the joke about the the difference between a trombone player and a black guy dressed up in a clown suit (the latter gets the gig). There were virtuosic, expressive, colorful trombonists before J. J.--from Teagarden to Bill Harris--but credit Mr. Johnson for making it a respectable--i.e. cool, hip--instrument. The sessions on this CD cover his recordings for Savoy 1945-49, placing J. J. in the company of Bud Powell and sounding no less harmonically sophisticated or technically proficient (dig the tempos he calls along with his execution of them, especially on "Jay Jay" and "Riffette"). What's even more amazing is J. J. retiring from music 1952-1954 despite being a featured soloist with Jazz at the Philharmonic, winning all of the jazz polls, and recording with Bud, Bird, Stitt, Rollins and every other major modernist. (This was never an easy music to make at living at.) It's also hard to reconcile J. J.'s prolific recording output for a dozen different labels with his essentially retiring from playing 1965-1985 in order to devote his time to composing and arranging.
The man was a perfectionist, as adept at orchestrating his life and career as taking care of business musically with not so much as a single wasted or sour note."