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The Very Best Of J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding

J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding

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Album Review

It may not be the "finest" but this LP does feature one of the most popular jazz groups of the mid-'50s, the two-trombone quintet co-led by J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding. Both of the players (who are joined by pianist Dick Katz, Milt Hinton, or Wendell Marshall on bass, and drummer Al Harewood) had similar but generally distinctive styles. On tunes ranging from "Out of This World," "Lover," and "It's All Right with Me," to "Mad About the Boy," and even "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," the unusual band's sound consistently uplifts the themes, and the co-leaders' improvising talents keep the music from becoming merely easy listening.


Born: 22 January 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...
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