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Turquoise Ocean

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Album Review

Although drummer George Johnson is clearly the leader of this CD, he does not solo at all. Instead, he contributed four of the nine selections — including "Turquoise Ocean," which is played at widely varying lengths three times, and "Sittin' by a Waterfall at a Full Moon" which appears twice — and takes vocals on three of the standards. The first five selections are taken from a live date in which Johnson leads a quartet that features the highly original if generally disturbing tenor and soprano playing of Gary Thomas, pianist Kenny Drew Jr. and bassist Steve Kirby. The remainder of the CD was cut in the studio with a more conventional but unified group that includes Ralph Bowen on tenor, flute and soprano, pianist Rick Budesa and bassist Charles Fambrough. The music overall fits into the modern mainstream; the leader's so-so vocals on "Angel Eyes," "In the Evening" and a slightly over-the-top "Teach Me Tonight" are heartfelt, if not too essential, and kind of out of place. The main reasons to acquire this disc are for the contrasting solos of Thomas and Bowen.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

The drummer George Johnson was smart to puff up his name into George A. Johnson, Jr. for the release of the 1997 solo effort Turquoise Ocean. His discography prior to that, full of solid accompaniment for a range of artists from Dr. Lonnie Smith to Lonnie Liston Smith, can seem on the verge of losing a beat or two due to the confusion regarding such a common name. A variety of jazzmen with the name George Johnson have been active since the genre's earliest days, not to mention the funkmeister George...
Full Bio
Turquoise Ocean, George A. Johnson Jr
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  • $18.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 23 September 1997

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