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Album Review

Marc Johnson / Eliane Elias: Swept Away

Read "Swept Away" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Swept Away is certainly a collaborative effort--co-led by Eliane Elias and bassist Marc Johnson--but it seems more like the pianist's set. The Sao Paolo-born pianist, Elias, penned five of the disc's eleven tunes, and co-wrote two more with her musical/life partner, Johnson. The duo, in league with drummer Joey Baron and, on five tunes, saxophonist Joe Lovano, has produced the most sumptuous music imaginable, beginning with the Elias-penned title tune--a floating trio effort, a sensual haiku to unadorned beauty.


Album Review

Marc Johnson / Eliane Elias: Swept Away

Read "Swept Away" reviewed by John Kelman

It's a relatively rare occasion when Marc Johnson releases an album under his own name, but based on the bassist's track record--from Bass Desires (ECM, 1985) through to Shades of Jade (ECM, 2005)--it's always one to celebrate. As Johnson fast approaches 60, it seems like only yesterday that he emerged as the bassist in Bill Evans' final trio in the late 1970s, before the piano legend's passing in 1980. But if time has passed, one thing that has remained constant ...



Marc Johnson: Sweet Tone for Sweet Tunes

Read "Marc Johnson: Sweet Tone for Sweet Tunes" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Marc Johnson is an extraordinary musician, but recordings under his own name are infrequent. That can often be the case for people whose instrument is the contrabass. But for this musician, it seems more about making statements when the time is right.

Johnson plays exquisite bass, with the luscious tone and great harmonic and melodic expression that came to the ear of most people in jazz during his two-year tenure with the legendary Bill Evans nearly 30 years ago. Even ...


Album Review

Marc Johnson: Shades of Jade

Read "Shades of Jade" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Somewhat of a recluse, bassist Marc Johnson only comes out of hiding every five years or so. But when he does, it's usually to give us another nugget of inestimable value, his albums always proving to be an adventure with a healthy mix of tradition and forward-thinking originality. A veteran of one of pianist Bill Evans' last trios from the '80s, Johnson is a virtuoso artist with far-ranging tastes that have taken his own musical pursuits to many different lands. ...


Album Review

Marc Johnson: Shades of Jade

Read "Shades of Jade" reviewed by Michael McCaw

Marc Johnson long ago cemented his abilities as a bassist since his involvement in Bill Evans' final trio. His career as a leader in his own right, though, has been a lttle more questionable. Released periodically over the span of a quarter century, his albums have run the gamut in quality from his excellent early ECM dates featuring Bill Frisell and John Scofield to the somewhat lackluster feel of Sound of Summer Running (Verve, 1998). Nonetheless, all this changes with ...


Album Review

Marc Johnson: Shades of Jade

Read "Shades of Jade" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

Bassist and composer Marc Johnson may have taken a quarter century to distill the essence of his playing in the last great Bill Evans trio, but Shades of Jade proves it was worth the wait. What is most astonishing about this masterful work is that it took someone I would never have thought of as a Johnson collaborator, pianist Eliane Elias, to make it the summit of Johnson's recorded efforts as a leader. So towering is her involvement, in multiple ...


Album Review

Marc Johnson: Shades of Jade

Read "Shades of Jade" reviewed by John Kelman

Some would argue that it's impossible to call a recording classic until sufficient time has passed to determine its true staying power. Still, one can say that a recording has the makings of a classic--especially in its ability to be simultaneously of its time and timeless. Bassist Marc Johnson has only released a handful of albums under his own name since emerging in the late 1970s. And while they've all been very, very good, often in distinctly different ways--and experiences ...


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