281

Marc Johnson: Shades of Jade

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
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. There's been the Eastern mysticism of Right Brain Patrol (1992) and the folksy nostalgia of Sound of Summer Running, a 1998 classic that was his most recent offering.

Shades of Jade proves to be somewhat of a departure. Johnson has included many aspects of his personality, going for a multifaceted recital that speaks in many grooves and offers an ensemble chemistry second to none. Both saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist John Scofield have worked together under the latter's leadership, while Scofield was also in integral part of Johnson's brilliant, if short-lived, group Bass Desires. Drummer Joey Baron's history with Johnson includes playing an important role on Sound of Summer Running.

Not your typical ECM album, Shades of Jade balances beautiful moments of retrospection, as in the case of pianist Eliane Elias' "Aparaceu, with more intense numbers. Based on Wayne Shorter's iconic line, "Blue Nefertiti is buoyed by Barron's explosive punctuations and "Raise dishes up a gospel mood in waltz time with Lovano in peak form. Equally worthwhile are "All Yours and "Don't Ask of Me, features for Johnson's own honeyed tones.


Track Listing: Ton Sur Ton; Aparaceu; Shades of Jade; In 30 Hours; Blue Nefertiti; Snow; Since You Asked; Raise; All Yours; Don't Ask of Me.

Personnel: Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone; John Scofield: guitar; Eliane Elias: piano; Marc Johnson: double-bass; Joey Baron: drums; Alain Mallet: organ.

Title: Shades of Jade | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Reach" CD/LP/Track Review Reach
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.