Jeff Johnson

Suitcase

origin 82629

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Ken Dryden, All Music

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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, and multi-reed player Hans Teuber. The opener, "Shake It Off," is a brief free jazz group improvisation. "Scene West" has an ominous air with its dark rhythmic undercurrent. Teuber is heard on bass clarinet in "Avion," an impressionistic work that comes at the listener in waves. "Kiwi" is more standard fare, a joyful post-bop vehicle with an intimate air, spotlighting Johnson's subtle acoustic bass. Johnson is back on Fender bass for the complex free composition "Picasso," which pays homage to the genius of abstract art. "Letters for Marcy" is a heartfelt blues that softly states its message of thanks, featuring the composer on Fender bass with Teuber adding an emotional tenor sax solo. Johnson's funky "Soweto Man" has a hip air, with Teuber's whimsical flute floating over the rhythm section. This is yet another diverse session by Jeff Johnson and a valuable addition to his discography.






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