Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

121

George V. Johnson, Jr.: Next In Line

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Just when you wonder what will happen to the art of vocalese, other than its sustenance by a few artists like Kurt Elling, George V. Johnson, Jr. sneaks onto the scene with his own self-produced CD that begs for attention. And deservedly so.

A student of legendary vocalese singer Eddie Jefferson, Johnson for whatever reason has waited twenty-something years to come out of his cocoon and spread his wings. A resident of south Jersey, and no doubt known as a singer only within the East Coast environs, Johnson has taken the initiative to record, produce and market his own CD, "Next In Line," proving the value of the Internet to spread the message about deserving artists.

Eddie Jefferson himself kicks off "Next In Line" with an 18-second sound bite that introduces Johnson during a night of singing in 1977 as Johnson was to take over the thread of vocalese thought and melody Jefferson established. Now, Johnson figuratively is picking up that thread again with a CD mostly of jazz standards that Johnson put to words. Fittingly, Johnson pays tribute to the Eddie Jefferson style, right down to employing a swinging alto saxophonist, Arnold Sterling, who fills, and in some respects enlarges, the Richie Cole role.

Perhaps most impressive is Johnson's own song about the good-natured ambition and competitiveness of performance on "Opening Night," repeating the initials "CBS" for emphasis upon the grandness of his aspirations. "Freedom Jazz Dance" involves...dance. Tina Prat taps out the rhythm of the tune after Johnson's group sets up the groove to the words of Eddie Jefferson.

"Next In Line" deserves more than a listen. It deserves attention. And it deserves a follow-up album, hopefully on a commercial label.


Track Listing:

Eddie Jefferson Sound Bite; Opening Night; My Little Suede Shoes; Star Eyes; Nigerian ju ju Highlife; Gingerbread Boy; Freedom Jazz Dance; Bitches Brew

Personnel:

George V. Johnson, Jr., vocals; Arnold Sterling, Siraj, saxophone; Bernard Samuel, Herman Foster, piano; Tom McKenzie, bass; Mark Johnson, Victor Jones, drums; Tina Prat, jazz tap

http://www.trentonjazz.com ymajesty@bellatlantic.net

| Record Label: Your Majesty Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
Read "Muddy Ditch" CD/LP/Track Review Muddy Ditch
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!