142

Henry Johnson: An Evening at Sea

By

Sign in to view read count
This An Evening at Sea wasn't planned, but came about at as a result of what turned out to be a fortuitous emergency. Henry Johnson was with Joe Williams on one of those floating jazz festival cruises (this one on the Queen Elizabeth) that Chiaroscuro likes to record. The quartet that was scheduled to play one evening had a problem and couldn't make it and Johnson was asked to form a band to take their place. The result is this album with Johnson leading a very fine quartet of players.

The Chicago-born guitarist has been around for a while. He performed with R& B artist Isaac Hayes as far back as 1963. Since then he has played extensively in the Windy City with his groups, with Sonny Stitt and Stanley Turrentine. He has worked for extended periods with Ramsey Lewis and was with Joe Williams off and on since 1985. Having flirted with George Benson like pop oriented smooth jazz, Johnson has returned to his straight ahead, R B tinged jazz roots. His guitar is now much more in the mold of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, for which we should be grateful. The result is an exciting album of standards, classic and jazz, all played with imaginative extemporizing. One of the set's highlights is a dazzling Kenny Drew, Jr. piano improvisation on There is No Greater Love. It's a credit to his artistry and concentration that he manages to find his way back to the melody line without stumbling. This track also confirms the Wes Montgomery influence on Johnson as he takes the last few choruses to a close a 12 minute exploration of this Isham Jones/Marty Symes chestnut. Johnson shows humor on "Oleo" as he refers to "When You Wish upon a Star". He also interpolates measures of "Swingin' on a Star" during "Wave", where he gives an especially fervent rendition of one of Jobim's most enduring pieces. Vanessa Rubin comes in for a bright, up tempo rendition of "I've Got the World on a String". Bassist Larry Gray and veteran drummer Paul Humphrey are faultless in their time keeping and their occasional solos.

Chiaroscuro's recording techniques fully capture the relaxed informality of a live session before an appreciative audience, judging by the applause. This is a good set and is recommended.


Track Listing: There Is no Greater Love; Gone with the Wind; Corcovado; In a Sentimental Mood; Wave; I've Got the World on a String*; My Shining Hour; Oleo

Personnel: Henry Johnson - Guitar; Kenny Drew, Jr. - Piano; Larry Gray - Bass; Paul Humphrey - Drums; Vanessa Rubin - Vocals*

| Record Label: Chiaroscuro Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "The Harry Warren Song Book" CD/LP/Track Review The Harry Warren Song Book
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Troy Collins
Published: November 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!