Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
JLJ's ne psych funk
Stephen F. Spera | new york, new york | 10/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"well, im sorry to say that amazon has just lost the long review ive written, so ill try to catch up-
i had the pleasure of seeing johnson live this summer after being interested in his work for some time. although it was a jazz festival with mostly trad patrons, the 'jef lee johnson power trio' was a complete surprise. using mostly fragments of themes or melodies, johnson's phrasing seems something like sketches, or stabs at a monologue.
that is until something catches him, a feeling palpable to even the octagenarians present. it's when he opens up that
one realizes that mr. johnson is going places no one has before. if pressed, i'd say a combination neo-hendrix funk,
coupled with an avant sensibility (say john mclaughlin when
HE opens up)- but there's more. i could sense that johnson
was fighting the easy hendrix comparison (he even resembles hendrix!)- but at times, a force just comes out that, to me, is in the same spirit- and anyone could feel this same spirit...the crowd was appreciative, at least realizing that johnson is the REAL deal- very interesting time, that.
ive seen hendrix almoxt a dozen times, up close, and what no one seems to realize now is that hendrix was THE avant-garde then. just as it was different times, musicgoers were much more open to all types of experience. i wouldnt fight the comparison if i were mr.johnson...it certainly IS difficult to pigeonhole him, i cant seem to do it myself. so lets just enjoy this talent while we can. a cd like COMMUNION gives us a glimmer of what jef lee johnson is capable of, and we should be happy for it.