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Musician

Alphonso Johnson

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Alphonso Johnson is an iconic musician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania whose contributions with the electric bass set the landscape of music to come. As Weather Report’s bassist, Johnson’s warm tone and fluent chops contributed to the band’s initial breakout from avant-garde into funk fusion. His playing was featured on the songs “Mysterious Traveler”, “Scarlet Woman”, and “Cucumber Slumber” which he co-wrote. Alphonso played with the group Santana and also toured with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist James Beard, drummer Rodney Holmes, and guitarist David Gilmore playing S.R.O. shows that stretched across Europe and Japan. Johnson has taught all over the world and in 2004 was appointed Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Southern California and Part-Time Lecturer at The California Institute of The Arts.

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Article: Interview

Ilaria Capalbo: In Fearless Pursuit Of Her Muse

Read "Ilaria Capalbo: In Fearless Pursuit Of Her Muse" reviewed by Ian Patterson


After years playing in different bands and drawing widespread praise for her lyricism and rhythmic agility, double bassist Ilaria Capalbo has stepped up to front her own project. The Neapolitan's debut album, Karthago (Bluenord Records, 2022), is a remarkable statement of intent. Inspired by the ancient Mediterranean city of Carthage and its near-mythical figurehead, queen Alyssia, ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Dean Brown: Global Fusion on Acid

Read "Dean Brown: Global Fusion on Acid" reviewed by Jim Worsley


From the outset, the equation was simple enough. Jazz + rock = fusion. However, whether it was Miles Davis, Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, or any of the pioneers of fusion, the music has always been far from simplistic. Musical depth has long been the trademark of a genre that has been through many incarnations and traversed ...

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Article: Album Review

Jon Armstrong Sextet: Reabsorb

Read "Reabsorb" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Saxophonist Jon Armstrong reminds us that life and death are two sides of the same coin. Although seemingly disparate, like two sides of an LP, they cannot be separated. His sextet recording Reabsorb models this contrasting device by presenting two contrasting compositions, one on each side of an LP (also available as a CD and download). ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Jimmy Haslip: Amperes Beyond the BASSics, Part 2

Read "Jimmy Haslip: Amperes Beyond the BASSics, Part 2" reviewed by Jim Worsley


In case you missed it, Part One of my conversation with Jimmy Haslip covered a lot of ground and had a few good laughs along the way. Although we talked about the Yellowjackets, we delved more deeply into why and how he parted ways with the band some eight years ago. Haslip has been producing records ...

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Article: Album Review

Michael Ragonese: Day to Day

Read "Day to Day" reviewed by Paul Naser


If you haven't heard Michael Ragonese's name before, you're sure to hear it a lot more. The award winning pianist is a constant fixture in Los Angeles; if he's not a sideman at one club, he's leading a band at another. Among the many luminaries he has performed or recorded with are: Bennie Maupin, David Binney, ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 1

Read "Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 1" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Part 1 | Part 2Peter Erskine is affable, engaging, and humorous. He, of course, is also one of the finest drummers of his generation. He has left his mark on the jazz and fusion world for nearly fifty years now. An icon, whose name is mentioned with the greats of all time, Erskine continues ...

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Article: Profile

The Complete Jan Akkerman: Focusing on a Life's Work

Read "The Complete Jan Akkerman: Focusing on a Life's Work" reviewed by John Kelman


He may be largely regarded as the most influential guitarist to emerge from the Netherlands, a country that, bordering on the North Sea, is roughly one-quarter the physical size of England and, with a current number of about seventeen million, has just one-third the population of the UK's largest country. Still, despite garnering major in-country recognition, ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Basic Beauty: Arthur Blythe on Columbia

Read "Basic Beauty: Arthur Blythe on Columbia" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


Back in 2016, BGO Records started reissuing the complete works of alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe (1940-2017) on Columbia. The first volume containing Lenox Avenue Breakdown (1979), In the Tradition (1980), Illusions and Blythe Spirit (1981) has already been reviewed on AAJ. The following two volumes complete the project of putting an important body of work from ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Jazz Is Phsh: He Never Spoke A Word

Read "Jazz Is Phsh: He Never Spoke A Word" reviewed by Doug Collette


Phish prefer not to be compared to the Grateful Dead in any respect, which is understandable up to a point, yet it's fair to say each band's respective legacy has its own momentum including twists and turns of evolution that inevitably result in parallels and intersections illuminating the process(es). So it is that Jazz ...


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