424

Earl R. Johnson Jr.: Juicy

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Earl R. Johnson Jr.: Juicy Pianist Earl R. Johnson, Jr. espouses a highly rhythmic approach to contemporary jazz that keeps the bass line front and center, reverberates with hip-hop drum effects, swirls with keyboard authority and allows plenty of space for lyrical instrumental voices.

Johnson's piano serves as an anchor for the myriad scenes that he creates through original compositions. Reflecting contemporary R&B and smooth jazz themes, the program centers on melody and enjoys a healthy rhythmic character.

"Requiem" goes with solo piano to allow the Berklee grad to expose his elegance, "Getaway" and "Juicy" feature Johnson's piano melodies as floating clouds, and much of the album combines vocal themes as designs for specific impressions.

"Possibilities" combines spoken word with lovely vocal melodies, "Tasha's Way" sails romantically on placid waters through the vocal message of Niomisha Wilson, and "Full of Empty" allows a vocal discourse from Tim Owens to permeate. "412" reflects a scene of wandering travelers through melodic threads by guitarist Ricky Z, flutist Dawnn Norfleet, alto saxophonist Rodney Taylor and pianist Johnson. His ethereal piano melodies allow the session to cool frequently, while rhythms heat up on occasion and surrounding forces bring tension. Thus, Johnson forces a balance that keeps his session smooth but interesting, romantic but appealing, lyrical and highly rhythmic.


Track Listing: The Concept; 412; Unfinished Business; That Thang; Full of Empty; Juicy; Possibilities; Tasha

Personnel: Earl R. Johnson, Jr.: piano, keyboards, drum programming, vocals (5); Jervonny Collier, Mark A. Walker, Cornelius Mims: bass; Ricky Z, Tariq Akoni, David K. Scott, Darlene Moreno, Kathleen Dyson: guitars; Darrell Diaz: keyboards; Dawnn Norfleet: flute; Rodney Taylor: alto saxophone; Derrick Edmondson: tenor saxophone; William Artope: trumpet; Land Richards: drums; Kerry Griffin: percussion; Tony Moore: drum programming; Tim Owens: lead vocals (5); Donnell Spencer, Jr.: vocals (5); Solange Sheppy: spoken word (7); Shannon Pearson: vocals (7, 9); Niomisha Wilson: vocals (8).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: First Domain Records | Style: Hot Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Diachronic Paths" CD/LP/Track Review Diachronic Paths
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Lubbock (on everything)" CD/LP/Track Review Lubbock (on everything)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review Outlier
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Avant Funk" CD/LP/Track Review Avant Funk
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!