Origin Artist

Jeff Johnson

Johnson's a shadow boxer who doesn't support a soloist as much as he challenges him.
Dave McElfresh, JAZZ NOW

Bassist Jeff Johnson has had a dynamic influence on jazz music in Seattle since his arrival three decades ago, despite not having released a recording as a leader since his quartet date almost a decade ago, Suitcase (Origin, 2011). Whether playing live around his chosen hometown, or hitting the road with such artists as Hal Galper and Karrin Allison, Johnson's original style has had a noticeable and immediate impact on his musical surroundings throughout his storied career.

While Seattle fans have come to know him as a veritable undercurrent of the vibrant local jazz scene, Johnson's roots run deep from time spent on the road with the likes of Philly Joe Jones, Barney Kessell, Chet Baker, Lew Tabackin, Mark Murphy and Ernestine Anderson to name a few. In the early 90's he began a pair of relationships with pianists Galper and Jessica Williams, and found a vital identity as a trio bassist of the highest caliber. His deeply original sound has a mystical edge that seems to challenge soloists to read and react, producing soaring and spontaneous results.

Johnson has recorded and toured with drummer John Bishop and guitarist John Stowell in the trio Scenes that has produced five albums on the Origin label. He has, as well, collaborated with Bishop, along with pianist Bill Anschell and saxophonist Brent Jensen in the Seattle based band, Wellstone Conspiracy.

Johnson's well documented work with the ever eclectic Galper has risen to revolutionary proportions in exploring Galper's rubato notions reinventing a concept of time that expresses a read and react elasticity. His elegant vibrato, inventive bow work, and bone crushing use of chords and harmonics allows Galper to live at a musical crossroads that presents many routes of travel. Bishop's almost symphonic drum and cymbal work, dynamically original in itself, joins with Johnson as two souls revolving around a common center.

Johnson's partnership with Galper has come full circle in the past two years, with two releases that mostly feature the bassist's original compositions. His compositional work is imaginative and spiritual in nature, providing just enough structure for form, with ample space for free playing. The trio added tenor saxophone giant Jerry Bergonzi for Cubist (Origin, 2018), adding another layer to the fabric of Galper's rubato vision. Just recently, a live trio date recorded at Yardbird Suite in Edmonton was released, bearing witness to the amazing late career surge for Galper that has perhaps been the most startling contribution to the legacy of the piano trio for more than a generation. Aptly titled The Zone (Origin, 2020), Johnson's compositions "Scene West" and "Cubist" highlight a trailblazing approach to composition and melodic improvisation that like his signature playing on bass, stands out as original and fearless.

While many writers and broadcasters may view Johnson's career as flying somewhat under the radar, those that have followed his path from his native Minneapolis, to Texas and Oklahoma, and finally to his landing in Seattle in 1990, know him as one of the genre's most inventive bassists. They can hear the midwest. They most certainly can hear the Texas in his approach. Now thirty years into his tenure in Seattle, you can hear the vibe of his chosen home as vividly as the morning rain pounding rooftops around the city on a gray winter's day.

Paul Rauch, All About Jazz


Jeff Johnson
Origin 82871

Ben Black
Origin 82835

Origin 82807

Hal Galper Trio
Origin 82793

Thomas Marriott
Origin 82765

Bill Anschell
Origin 82757

Hans Teuber & Jeff Johnson
Origin 82756

Hal Galper Quartet featuring Jerry Bergonzi
Origin 82751

Emi Meyer
Origin 82742

Origin 82736

Tad Britton
Origin 82697

Marc Seales
Origin 82680

Hal Galper
Origin 82670

Origin 82657

Jeff Johnson
Origin 82629

Hal Galper Trio
Origin 82628

Hal Galper
Origin 82602

Wellstone Conspiracy
Origin 82600

Origin 82594

Thomas Marriott
Origin 82577

Richard Cole
Origin 82575

Randy Halberstadt
Origin 82571

Ray Vega & Thomas Marriott
Origin 82561

Wellstone Conspiracy
Origin 82560

Hal Galper
Origin 82557

Origin 82555

Jon Alberts / Jeff Johnson / Tad Britton
Origin 82538

Chad McCullough
Origin 82535

Mark Taylor
Origin 82529

Thomas Marriott
Origin 82526

Jeff Johnson
Origin 82518

Brent Jensen w/ Bill Anschell, Jeff Johnson, John Bishop
Origin 82493

Richard Cole
Origin 82492

Tad Britton
Origin 82481

Hal Galper / Jeff Johnson / John Bishop
Origin 82476

Thomas Marriott
Origin 82474

Origin 82470

Bill Anschell
Origin 82469

John Bishop
Origin 82455

Thomas Marriott
Origin 82442

Randy Halberstadt
Origin 82435

Jeff Johnson
Origin 82429

Various Artists
Origin 82408

John Bishop with Jeff Johnson, Rick Mandyck, John Stowell
Origin 82390

Ben Black
Origin 82387

Jeff Johnson
Origin 82386

Jeff Johnson
Origin 82370

Steve Korn
Origin 82368

Richard Cole
Origin 82366

John Bishop
Origin 82358

Mike Denny Rick Mandyck Jeff Johnson John Bishop
Origin 82357

Carrie Wicks
OA2 Records 22175

Cheryl Fisher
OA2 Records 22133

Carrie Wicks
OA2 Records 22125

Carrie Wicks
OA2 Records 22093

The Vocal Jazz Collective
OA2 Records 22068

Carrie Wicks
OA2 Records 22065

Gail Pettis
OA2 Records 22059

Jeff Baker
OA2 Records 22056

Katie King
OA2 Records 22043

Gail Pettis
OA2 Records 22038

Jeff Baker
OA2 Records 22031



For more information about Jeff Johnson, please visit: http://www.jazzbassist.com.


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  • Origin Records
    8649 Island Drive South
    Seattle, WA 98118
    ph: (206) 781-2589
    fx: (206) 374-2618
  • Email / Order Info / Etc