Three Great Blue Note CDs Featuring J.J. Johnson as Sideman

During his career as a jazz musician, the late J.J. Johnson recorded many times as a leader. His well known musical vision and skills as a writer and arranger — not to mention his virtuosic translation of modern jazz to the trombone — meant the leader role fit him well. That same reputation, too, meant he was in demand as a sideman. In these instances, J.J.’s playing always adds something special to the musical proceedings, and, while freed from the responsibilities of a leader, he might sound a little more relaxed than usual. Below are three Blue Note CDs you may not have heard yet: all feature J.J. as a sideman. Check them out. The titles and cover art will link to the music at Amazon.

Afro-Cuban

Kenny Dorham: Afro Cuban

Leader: Kenny Dorham, Recording date: March 28, 1955

  1. Afrodisia
  2. Basheer’s Dream
  3. Lotus Flower
  4. Minor’s Holiday
  • J.J. Johnson, trombone
  • Kenny Dorham, trumpet
  • Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone
  • Cecil Payne, bass sax
  • Horace Silver, piano
  • Oscar Pettiford, bass
  • Art Blakey, drums
  • Carlos Valdez, percussion

Volume 2

Sonny Rollins: Vol. 2

Leader: Sonny Rollins, Recording date: April 14, 1957

Page for this recording at Wikipedia

  1. Why Don’t I?
  2. Wail March
  3. You Stepped Out of a Dream
  4. Poor Butterfly
  5. Misterioso
  • J.J. Johnson, trombone
  • Sonny Rollins, Tenor saxophone
  • Horace Silver, piano
  • Paul Chambers, bass
  • Art Blakey, drums

Cape Verdean Blues

Horce Silver: Cape Verdean Blues

Leader: Horace Silver, Recording date: October 22, 1965

Page for this recording at Wikipedia

  1. Nutville
  2. Bonita
  3. Mo’ Joe
  • J.J. Johnson, trombone
  • Horace Silver, piano
  • Woody Shaw, trumpet
  • Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone
  • Bob Cranshaw, bass
  • Roger Humphries, drums

Brookmeyer Interview at Jazz Wax

On the web, there are lots of things to read, see, and hear. Consequently, there are a lot of things one might miss. One good thing I missed was this Bob Brookmeyer interview. Jazz Wax, the home of the interview, is run by Marc Myers, a New York journalist, and was linked from NPR’s new jazz blog, A Blog Supreme.

Incidentally, you might wonder how NPR came up with the great title, “A Blog Supreme.” Well, they had a contest to name the blog, but they conducted the contest after they had already come up with the obviously-fantastic “A Blog Supreme” name. Go figure.

Art Ford Jazz Party

A Kinescope find from the Internet Archive. The “Art Ford Jazz Party” aired on the DuMont Television Network. Included in the frontline is trombonist Tyree Glen and saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. The rest of the very strong line-up: Teddy Charles (vibes), Hank Damico (clarinet), Mary Osborne (guitar), Johnny Windhurst (trumpet), Morey Feld (drums), Todd Colberg (bass), and Alec Templeton (piano). Pianist Roland Hanna (Later Sir Roland Hanna) and singer Maxine Sullivan also make appearances later in the program.