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Richard Leo Johnson: Language (2000)

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Richard Leo Johnson: Language No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Picking up where he left off with his solo debut Fingertip Ship, Richard Leo Johnson takes his solo guitar lines through a variety of sounds and styles, backed vicariously by a talented group of musicians which includes drummer Matt Wilson, Govt. Mule guitarist Warren Haynes and a brief guest spot by Johnson’s ten-year-old daughter Tess.

Instead of gathering his musical heroes and friends in his studio, Johnson sent each of his collaborators his or her own tape of his guitar track and let them improvise as they saw fit, combining the occasionally disparate parts in the mixing board. The result is impressively coherent and cohesive, from tributes like the snaky "Sketches of Miles" and the flamencoed, Allman-ed joy of "Freestone Peach" to cover/original combos of "Cheek to Cheek" and "Dancing Heaven," "Happy Talk," and "Dream a Dream"; as well as the Paul Winter-y double-bassed closer "Ritual Ground."

Track Listing: 1. Hip Hop Zep 2. Sweet Jane Thyme 3. Event Horizon 4. Music Roe 5. Chuck Soup 6. Cheek to Cheek/Dance in Heaven 7. Happy Talk/Dream a Dream 8. Sketches of Miles 9. New West Helena Blues 10. Daddydaughterduo 11. 1-5-90 12. Freestone Peach 13. Ritual Ground

Record Label: Blue Note Records

Style: Contemporary/Smooth


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