All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Picking up where he left off with his solo debut Fingertip Ship, Richard Leo Johnson takes his solo guitar lines through a variety of sounds and styles, backed vicariously by a talented group of musicians which includes drummer Matt Wilson, Govt. Mule guitarist Warren Haynes and a brief guest spot by Johnson’s ten-year-old daughter Tess.
Instead of gathering his musical heroes and friends in his studio, Johnson sent each of his collaborators his or her own tape of his guitar track and let them improvise as they saw fit, combining the occasionally disparate parts in the mixing board. The result is impressively coherent and cohesive, from tributes like the snaky "Sketches of Miles" and the flamencoed, Allman-ed joy of "Freestone Peach" to cover/original combos of "Cheek to Cheek" and "Dancing Heaven," "Happy Talk," and "Dream a Dream"; as well as the Paul Winter-y double-bassed closer "Ritual Ground."
Track Listing: 1. Hip Hop Zep
2. Sweet Jane Thyme
3. Event Horizon
4. Music Roe
5. Chuck Soup
6. Cheek to Cheek/Dance in Heaven
7. Happy Talk/Dream a Dream
8. Sketches of Miles
9. New West Helena Blues
12. Freestone Peach
13. Ritual Ground
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.