Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

156

Norman Johnson: If Time Stood Still

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Norman Johnson was in high school in Jamaica when he heard George Benson and became interested in the guitar. He says that he was mesmerized by Benson, and though he figured that he was too old at 16 to begin playing an instrument he went ahead. Later studying at the Hartt School of Music with Jackie McLean and Brian Keane, his influences grew to include Wes Montgomery, Earl Klugh, and Andres Segovia. Segovia fostered his love for classical music and, along with Klugh, the nylon-string guitar.

Johnson is comfortable in several styles. He realizes them through different lineups, with the underlying factor being his enunciation. He is a clean and nimble player who imbues a lyrical sonority to his textures.

"All In Time" is crafted on a nylon-string guitar. The melody is gracious and flows smoothly. Johnson gives it pith with his emphatic notes that cavort when he is upfront and form counterpoint with the ensemble lines. The hue gets deeper as the arrangement opens up to trombonist Steve Davis and the jumpy rhythms of percussionist Martin Obeng and drummer Arti Dixon.

A trio version of the soothing "Midnight Sun" finds Johnson creating a liquid groove that makes the tune shimmer; his pace deliberate and the dynamic gentle. He gets some good support from Obeng and bassist Tyler VanOstrand, who adds muscle with tensile, symmetrical lines.

Johnson finds a funky "Acoustic Groove," a solo outing that is abetted by overdubbed bass and programming. This has an endearing melody as well. He could have well let it play out prettily, but he adds bite and fleshes out the body to make it tantalizing.

Johnson balances themes and tempos well enough through his playing and arrangements. It certainly augurs well for the future which, hopefully, will produce more fine music.

Track Listing: It's Time To Fly; Acoustic Groove; Always and Forever; As It Is; Starting Tomorrow; Can I Get An Amen; If Time Stood Still; Unforgiven; All In Time; Midnight Sun.

Personnel: Norman Johnson: guitars; Tyler VanOstrand: bass; Ken Fischer: piano; Chris Herbert: sax, flute; Bob forte: drums; Arti Dixson: drums; Anthony Cusano: drums; Chris Lemp: drums; Steve Davis: trombone; Josh Bruneau: trumpet; Martin Obeng: percussion; Greg Allan: percussion; Eric Galm: percussion.

Title: If Time Stood Still | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Pacific Coast Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019
Read Pattern Recognition Album Reviews
Pattern Recognition
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 20, 2019
Read Come And Stay With Me: The UK 45's 1964-1969 Album Reviews
Come And Stay With Me: The UK 45's 1964-1969
By Doug Collette
January 19, 2019
Read Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition Album Reviews
Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
By Doug Collette
January 19, 2019
Read Circuits Album Reviews
Circuits
By Sammy Stein
January 19, 2019