A student of the late Eddie Jefferson, Washington, D.C.-based vocalist George V. Johnson takes his cue from Jefferson's later (1970's) sound with a repertoire drawn largely from the contemporaneous Miles Davis book. The versatile Johnson whose resume includes acting, teaching, and producing wrote lyrics (mainly vocalese) for five of the tunes. Freedom Jazz Dance," the most evolved performance, includes scat singing, a long tap dance (by Prat), Leon Thomas effects, and an abstraction of Shortnin' Bread."
Johnson adapts words to musical sequences. For example on the familiar Bitches Brew" two-note fading echo he intones Watch Out! Watch Out! Watch Out! ...read more
George V. Johnson Jr is a talented young jazz vocalist that specializes in a brand of jazz singing popularized most notably by Jon Hendricks and Eddie Jefferson called Vocalese. In fact, the title of this CD, Next in Line bring to bear the very words uttered by Eddie Jefferson (heard in the opening seconds of the disc) proclaiming his protege' George V. Johnson as the successor to the throne. On this CD, Johnson sings with exuberance on a number of varied standards, including tunes by Charlie Parker, Jimmy Heath, and Miles Davis.The original Opening Night" laments the lack ...read more
Just when you wonder what will happen to the art of vocalese, other than its sustenance by a few artists like Kurt Elling, George V. Johnson, Jr. sneaks onto the scene with his own self-produced CD that begs for attention. And deservedly so.A student of legendary vocalese singer Eddie Jefferson, Johnson for whatever reason has waited twenty-something years to come out of his cocoon and spread his wings. A resident of south Jersey, and no doubt known as a singer only within the East Coast environs, Johnson has taken the initiative to record, produce and market his own ...read more
Following in the footsteps of Eddie Jefferson, vocalese singer George Johnson brings us a program of familiar bop tunes with original ideas for his solo debut. On the opening track, Jefferson’s voice can be heard introducing Johnson as one of my students... from Washington DC. Next in line."
Information at www.trentonjazz.com indicates that Johnson got his start thirty years ago with pianist John Malachi. He later worked regularly with James Moody, performed in musical shows such as Raisin when it toured Europe, and with his own ensemble Your Majesty. The web site has pointers to MP3 samples from Johnson’s Next ...read more