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J.J.'s Broadway

J.J. Johnson

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Album Review

This is one of the more obscure J.J. Johnson LPs. On six of the ten songs, the great trombonist is joined by four others, while the remaining four tracks (the main reasons to search for this album) feature him in a quartet with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Walter Perkins. Johnson's writing on the larger group pieces lifts the material, which is all taken from Broadway shows, while his playing on the quartet tracks is up to his usual level. Some of the songs are now forgotten, but "My Favorite Things," "Make Someone Happy" and "Put on a Happy Face" are exceptions. This album has some good music, but it will be very difficult to find.

Customer Reviews


I chose to title this using a bartender's jargon, because this LP was one of my first serious jazz purchases hwne I had gotten my stereo. I thought it would surely be another entry in the JJ & Kai genre. It was not! This collection of masterpieces by the smooth horn of J.J.Johnson is haunting me to this day. "My Favorite Things was my initial love,with its Mancini-ish rythym, and harmony (note a similar "Make Someone Happy"), but as I played the vinyl over and over the one that still captures me is "Mira." It is like a choir of trombones singing a Bach chorale, and it is "neat."

"Sleeping Bee" has a marvelous brass chorus sound to it as well a toe tapping bass undercurrent. You'll love every song here, especially if like me, you cannot take in 8 or 9 Broadway shows this year.


Born: January 22, 1924 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Considered by many to be the finest jazz trombonist of all time, J.J. Johnson somehow transferred the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to his more awkward instrument, playing with such speed and deceptive ease that at one time some listeners assumed he was playing valve (rather than slide) trombone. Johnson toured with the territory bands of Clarence Love and Snookum Russell during 1941-1942, and then spent 1942-1945 with Benny Carter's big band. He made his recording debut with...
Full Bio
J.J.'s Broadway, J.J. Johnson
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1963

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