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Jeff Johnson


Jazz bassist, Jeff Johnson, received an acoustic guitar at age 9 and began his personal musical journey. British rock and American soul music were his earliest influences. Early 1960's AM radio became his first "teacher". Jeff learned the licks and chords of popular music of the time by listening and copying what he heard. At age 15, Jeff took a job offer to play electric bass guitar in a steadily working band which introduced him to jazz. By age 17 he was teaching himself the acoustic double bass, learning onstage with veterans and peers of the fertile "Twin Cities" jazz scene. Jeff credits saxophonists Irv Williams, Larry Hillman, Bob Crea, Dick Oatts, and Bob Rockwell, as well as pianists Buddy Davis, Tom O'Donnell, Bobby Peterson, Art Resnick, and Bobby Lyle, along with guitarist Dean Granros, bassist Billy Peterson, and drummers Jay Epstein, Kenny Horst, Paul Lagos, and Eric Gravatt as early Minneapolis/St.Paul mentors. In 1975, at age 20, Jeff left Minneapolis for Philadelphia to join legendary drummer Philly Joe Jones' then touring group called "Le Gran Prix"


My Heart

Label: Origin Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Linden Station; Leviathan; Companions; My Heart; Studio City; Watercolours


Article: Liner Notes

Jeff Johnson: My Heart

Read "Jeff Johnson: My Heart" reviewed by Jeff Johnson

jny: Minneapolis... circa 1972 is where this story begins. People ask me, “where did you go to study music?" I always answer, “Minneapolis / St.Paul, Minnesota." Then they ask, “yes... but what school?" My reply, “the streets, night clubs, and music scene of Minneapolis / St. Paul. I have a bastard's degree in music ...


Article: Liner Notes

Hal Galper Trio: Trip the Light Fantastic

Read "Hal Galper Trio: Trip the Light Fantastic" reviewed by Ken Dryden

This liner note assignment was very special to me, as it followed a phone interview that I did with Hal Galper that was a cover feature. Galper was ecstatic when it was published and called me one afternoon, exclaiming that the release date for his new CD was being moved up and he didn't have time ...


Song of the Day

Linden Station

Label: Origin Records
Released: 2023
Duration: 12:27


Article: Album Review

Jeff Johnson: My Heart

Read "My Heart" reviewed by Paul Rauch

What could possibly be so interesting about a thirty-two-year old session of first takes, recorded live to 2-track DAT by a quartet led by a Seattle- based bassist who is not exactly a household name? A quick answer would include superlatives such as “masterful," or “historic." A brief history of bassist and composer Jeff Johnson creates ...


Article: Liner Notes

Hal Galper Trio: Invitation to Openness

Read "Hal Galper Trio: Invitation to Openness" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Two and a half hours outside of New York City, the tiny Delaware River town of Callicoon, New York is home to little more than three thousand people. On Upper Main Street, Rafter's Tavern has been a part of this upstate hamlet since the late nineteenth century. In current times, this local eatery, bar and music ...


Variable Clouds: Live at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Label: Origin Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: Tilbury Hill; Trudge; When Jasper Grows Up; Companions; Lonely Blue Angel; Variable Clouds; It's Easy to Remember; Studio City; Witchi Tai To.


Article: Album Review

Scenes: Variable Clouds: Live at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Read "Variable Clouds: Live at the Earshot Jazz Festival" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Scenes'' first album dates back to 2001, but the origins of the band dates back to the early 1990s, when saxophonist Rick Mandyck, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop initiated a trio gig. On occasion guitarist John Stowell would drop in if he was off the road and in Seattle. The band that began as ...


Article: Album Review

Scenes: Variable Clouds: Live at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Read "Variable Clouds: Live at the Earshot Jazz Festival" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The group Scenes has released seven excellent albums over two decades of recording together, beginning with their eponymous debut (Origin Records, 2001). All of those are studio efforts. The group's 2022 outing, Variable Clouds is a first for Scenes--their first album recorded live in front of an audience, in 2021 at the Earshot Jazz Festival.


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