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Musician

Jonah Parzen-Johnson

Born:

Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a saxophonist living in Brooklyn, NY. He writes lofi music for solo saxophone and analog synthesizer. Imagine the raw energy of an Appalachian Folk choir, tempered by a lofi, minimal aesthetic inspired by the music of Bill Callahan. His carefully assembled analog synthesizer breathes with his saxophone, building independent melodic layers to support his sound, or soaring above his extended technique driven saxophone playing. All performed live, without any looping or recorded samples. A Chicago native, Jonah’s circular breathing, multi-phonics and impossibly nimble vocalization owes a debt to the Chicago saxophone legacy, but his devotion to a quirky almost vocal style places him in new territory for the solo saxophone

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Solo Recordings for Non-Traditionalists

Read "Solo Recordings for Non-Traditionalists" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


On January 24, 1975, a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano was to be wheeled onto the stage of the Cologne Opera House. Instead, a rehearsal piano, smaller, beaten-up, and out of tune, was the only instrument available to then twenty-nine-year-old piano prodigy Keith Jarrett. The pianist was not in much better shape than the piano. ...

Album

Imagine Giving Up

Label: We Jazz Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Finding the Feeling; Focus Re-Focus; Everything is Everything Else; Up; The Smile When You Fall; Stand Still.

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Article: Album Review

Jonah Prazen-Johnson: Imagine Giving Up

Read "Imagine Giving Up" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


When Jonah Parzen-Johnson released his first full-length album, Michiana (Primary Records, 2012), the Brooklyn-based artist seemed to give priority status to the electronics through which he filtered his baritone saxophone compositions. Even more so, Parzen-Johnson's 2015 follow up, Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow (also on Primary), was dominated by ambient drones. Parzen-Johnson has continued to ...

12

Article: Multiple Reviews

Two Going Solo

Read "Two Going Solo" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann


No, the title of this review doesn't refer to the autobiographical story of similar name, which tells of a young Roald Dahl looking for adventure in Africa. But like the protagonist of that book, the two individuals discussed in the following prove similarly adventurous in their own right and dig deep into the vast repertoire of ...

Album

Helsinki 8.12.18

Label: We Jazz Records
Released: 2019
Track listing: This Is How It Works; Everything Is Everything Else; It’s Better If You Don’t; Certain Kinds Of Questions; You Don’t Get To Finish; Trying To Explain; Find The Feeling; Keeping In Touch.

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Article: Album Review

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Helsinki 8.12.18

Read "Helsinki 8.12.18" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Chicago native Jonah Parzen-Johnson has music degrees from NYU and Manhattan School of Music, and the tutelage of the AACM in his background, but he keeps all that at arms-length. The Brooklyn resident continues to pursue his inimitable experimental music on Helsinki 8.12.18, his fourth solo album to feature baritone saxophone and electronics. The session was ...

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Article: Album Review

Giuseppe Doronzo: Goya

Read "Goya" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Italian baritone saxophonist Giuseppe Doronzo is the type of restless artist that continually looks for new resources from which to expand on the language of his instrument. In recent years he has utilized a variety of format platforms as launching points. With the self-titled debut of the quintet Falga (Self-Produced, 2016) and the subsequent AVA Trio ...


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