He plays with a mystique that takes the music out of the ordinary with his inventive improvised lines...
As a teen, bassist Jeff Johnson was inspired by Ernest Hemingway and his way of writing from experience, giving rich, human impressions of events surrounding him. Johnson uses that inspiration as a guide on "Suitcase" as a way to more vividly convey his life experiences through composition and storytelling. Having forged a deeply creative improvisational partnership over the last twenty years with saxophonist Hans Teuber, his decision to team here with newer musical partners - pianist Steve Moore and drummer Eric Eagle - creates a lively balance of the well-known and less-known to assure there will always be more chapters to be written.
"The collective improvising here is about as good as it gets."
- Harvey Pekar, JazzTimes.
1. Shake It Off (2:40)
2. Scene West (7:43)
3. Avion (5:29)
4. Kiwi (7:04)
5. Artist (5:29)
6. Illuminati (6:31)
7. Picasso (6:37)
8. Letters For Marcy (8:14)
9. Soweto Man (3:54)
Produced by Jeff Johnson and Hans Teuber
Recorded and mixed by Floyd Reitsma
at Studio Litho, Seattle, Washington, on 6/27/2011
Mastering by Rick Fisher at RFI Mastering. Seattle
Cover Design and layout by John Bishop
The Jazz Word (John Barron)
Jeff Johnson exudes an effervescent warmth from the bass. Utilizing both upright and electric, the Seattle veteran's approach is both intriguing and enticing. His latest for Origin Records, Suitcase, is a musical journal of sorts, with original pieces inspired by a career of travels and diverse experiences. Long-time collaborator Hans Teuber, who ...
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
Bassist Jeff Johnson traveled the United States from the 1970s until 1990. He followed the work during his time of transience, and played an array of styles, from R&B to country, from blues to pop, and jazz. Then he put his suitcase down in Seattle and evolved into something of a house bassist for Origin Records, backing pianists Jessica Williams a ...
Earshot Jazz (Brady Somers)
Jeff Johnson?s latest release, Suitcase, pulls from melodies and tunes written during an earlier era of his career. With long-time collaborator Hans Teuber on saxophones, bass clarinet and flute and newer music partners Steve Moore on piano and Eric Eagle on drums, Johnson leads the listener through a voyage of contrasted stylistic outings. From th ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Who let these white guys loose in the church basement? Johnson and his long time improv pal, Hans Teuber, opens the lens to let some other youngbloods join the fun. Not quite arts council music, this is hipster improv done right, but even a Friday night show for this would be a sausage fest, y'know what I mean? It sounds like they know how to give ...
Jazz Society of Oregon (Tim Willcox)
A stalwart of the Pacific Northwest jazz scene, Johnson is a veteran bassist who seems comfortable in just about any surrounding. With this newest effort, Johnson surrounds himself with like-minded musicians in an effort to record songs he had written over the course of the past 20 years while traveling around the world playing music. In an effort ...
Tom Hull on the Web (Tom Hull)
Jeff Johnson: Suitcase (2011 , Origin): Seattle bassist, one of the label's mainstays, generally a mainstream player but here he not only moves into postbop, he gives us a practicum in how much of the avant-garde has been incorporated into the postbop paradigm. Hans Teuber plays bass clarinet, alto flute, and various saxes, with Steve Moore ...
All Music (Ken Dryden)
Bassist Jeff Johnson has gotten recognition for his intuitive playing in Hal Galper's trio. His fifth CD as a leader is a free-spirited affair, where a lot of the music sounds improvised on the spot or with minimal sketches at best. Johnson is heard on both acoustic and Fender basses, and his group includes pianist Steve Moore, drummer Eric Eagle, ...