You can add Doug Johns' name to the populace of bad-ass electric jazz-funk/fusion electric bassists. Deriving knowledge and inspiration from the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke and other pioneers, Johns steps out with his debut solo effort, comprised of seventeen supercharged jazz-funk works. Think of Tower of Power and vintage Brecker Brothers, supplanted by Johns' hyper-mode lines, circular phrasings and slapping techniques. He provides a fluid underpinning for the punchy horn arrangements while pursuing a vibrant, forward-moving impetus.
Johns is also a melodic soloist and frequently serves as the traffic director here, as many of these works are built upon cascading and zinging thematic choruses. On "Are You Free, he cranks up the effects pedal amid a bold and brash arrangement featuring Mark Leach's swirling Hammond B-3 chord progressions. Johns stretches out here yet turns up the heat with a fuzz-toned sound during the peppery rocker "Yeti Boy, and slams matters into overdrive atop Take Malanorma's programmatic synth percussion grooves on "Chez Funk. Superstar Victor Wooten performs on tenor bass in tandem with Johns on "The Claw.
Johns lays down an abundance of funk-i-fied grooves on this thoroughly hip and alluring session. Aspiring and seasoned bassists take note.
Track Listing: Pimpasaurus Rex; Frog On My Face; HHP; Indian Summer; Are You Free?; Slang; Stairway to Heaven; Gig Shirt; The Claw; Hippobottomus; Yeti Boy; Bass In Your Face; Sunrise, Sunset; Chez Funk; Foot Jive; Even Up; Big Two-Headed Monster.
Personnel: Doug Johns: bass; Joe Miller: trumpet; Chris Ceja: drums; Victor Wooten: bass; Kenny Anderson: sax; Mark Leach: organ; Raphael Guzman, Jr.: percussion; Aaron Lindsey: keyboards; Utaah: saxophone; Daris Adkins: guitar; Bill Ransom: percussion; Greg Moore: guitar; Rob Williams: saxophone; Chris Burge: saxophone; Take Malanorma: drum programming.
I love jazz because transports me to another reality.
I was first exposed to jazz a concert on the lake many years ago.
I met many musicians at various international jazz festivals.
The best show I ever attended was Jazzascona in Suisse.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
My advice to new listeners is listen to music with an open mind.
Listen, think and share jazz everywhere.