Yesterday, Darren Johnston with the Nice Guy Trio.... Today, Darren Johnston with Chicago guys. Darren Johnston's The Big Lift (PFR Porto Franco 031) came out late this past summer (2011) and it's worth tracking down. A great lineup doing some very good music....It's Darren on trumpet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Jason Adasiewicz, vibes, Nate McBride, bass, and Frank Rosaly, drums. In other words, a kind of all-star Chicago lineup.
The group goes through its paces with Ornette's Love Call," Duke's Black and Tan Fantasy" and six Johnston originals, all of which make for fine semi-expanded springboards for these masterful improvisers. Needless to say Darren holds his own and each is an original voice. Jeb and Darren make for a wildly creative front line and Jason is his usual stimulating self with extended harmonic comps as needed and well chosen lines. The rhythm team socks the monkey in ways that make them a hell of a good choice for a freely propulsive set such as this.
Most definitely this is one you should not miss. It's a real feather in Mr. Johnston's cap and the Chicago crew is right there on it!