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John Johnson

Pianist/Bassist/Electronic musician John Johnson has been involved in music in some shape or form since he was 8 years old. His father, a jazz trumpeter, taught him the fundamentals of composing and arranging in a jazz context at an early age. Since then he has evolved his artform into more than just jazz, but has mainly stuck to his roots and connected to the idiom that fostered him. Johnson began as a trumpet player at a young age, but in high school was encouraged by a high school teacher to switch to bass. His interest in piano also grew about that time, and soon he was playing with both jazz and rock groups around the Northern California area where he grew up

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Macleod: The Toronto Sound

Read "The Toronto Sound" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Yes, this is Canada's John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra. And yes, this is the ensemble's third CD, The Toronto Sound. But close your eyes and listen carefully and it modulates into no less than an earnest albeit clandestine homage to Rob McConnell and the peerless Boss Brass. Is that a good thing? Beyond any ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Heather Bambrick: You'll Never Know

Read "You'll Never Know" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

You know those stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks moments that only music can elicit? Those oh-so-rare occurrences where sound and intention hypnotize, leaving a permanent mark on the soul? This writer experienced one of those sonic epiphanies in hearing Heather Bambrick's enthralling version of “Far From The Home I Love." It's a song that I've been relatively indifferent about in ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

David Buchbinder: Walk to the Sea

Read "David Buchbinder: Walk to the Sea" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Now that the exploration of the relationships between different ethnic musics and modern-day improvised music has reached the first of- hopefully-many crescendos, forward-looking artists such as the Canadian trumpeter David Buchbinder and pianist Hilario Duran have been looking at the many intersections of disparate-seeming ethnic musics through the same lens. Never mind the fact that a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Cinque: Catch A Corner

Read "Catch A Corner" reviewed by Dave Wayne

With legendary drummer Steve Gadd and organist Joey DeFrancesco in the lineup, and a clutch of Canada's top session men rounding out the personnel on Catch A Corner, Cinque gives a tip of the hat to the CTI label and its particular style of relaxed--but not smooth--jazz-funk. Olivia Cardinali's vivid cover photograph seems reminiscent of Pete ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

John MacLeod & His Rex Hotel Orchestra / Tim Davies Big Band / New England Jazz Ensemble

Read "John MacLeod & His Rex Hotel Orchestra / Tim Davies Big Band / New England Jazz Ensemble" reviewed by Jack Bowers

John MacLeod & His Rex Hotel OrchestraOur First SetSelf Published2010 Those who mourn the passing of the great trombonists Rob McConnell and Dave McMurdo and, with them, two of the most renowned big bands Canada has ever produced, should take substantial comfort from this superlative debut recording ...

Insomniak

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2010

Rob McConnell: Boss of Bosses

Read "Rob McConnell: Boss of Bosses" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even though largely unknown to most of us south of the border, a number of world-class big bands have made their home in Canada over the years. For nearly three decades, however, there was one whose name and influence rose conspicuously above the others. That band was, of course, the incomparable Boss Brass, and the reason ...


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