Johnson, James L. "J. J."

In person signature of the great bebop jazz trombonist, composer and arranger

Price: $60.00

Description:
(1924-2001) American jazz trombonist, composer & arranger, one of the early trombonists to embrace bebop. Several of his compositions, incl. "Wee Dot", "Lament", and "Enigma" are jazz standards. In 1941, he began professionally with Clarence Love, and with Snookum Russell in 1942. Johnson played with Benny Carter 1942-45 and made his 1st solo (“Love for Sale”) in 1943 with him. In 1944, he played in the 1st Jazz at the Philharmonic concert in LA, and toured and recorded with Count Basie 1945-46. While the trombone was prominent in Dixieland and swing, it was out of favor in bebop but in 1946 Dizzy Gillespie encouraged JJ’s bebop. He toured in 1947 with Illinois Jacquet and recorded leading small groups with Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, and Bud Powell, and played with Charlie Parker at the Dec. 17 1947 Dial Records session. JJ’s compositions "Enigma" and "Kelo" were recorded by Miles Davis for Blue Note and he was with the Davis studio session band that recorded the 1954 jazz classic “Walkin’”. He joined with trombonist Kai Winding 1954-56, a huge success, reuniting in 1958 for a UK tour, a 1960 album and 2 1968–69 albums. In Jan. 1967, JJ was with an all-star group in Sarah Vaughn’s last Mercury sessions, “Sassy Swings Again”, with 3 cuts he arranged. After the mid-50s he led his own touring small groups for 3 years in the US, UK and Scandinavia, also touring with the 1957 & 1960 Jazz at the Philharmonic show, the ‘57 tour yielding a live album with Stan Getz. In 1961, JJ and Andre Previn’s trio recorded an album of Kurt Weill music. His 1963 solo album “J. J.'s Broadway” displayed his mature style, sound, and arranging abilities. 1964 saw his last working band record for 20+ years, “Proof Positive”. From the early 60’s, he gave more time to composition and wrote large-scale works using classical and jazz elements. He contributed “Poem for Brass” to a 1957 Third Stream compilation "Music for Brass", and wrote original works for the Monterey Jazz Festival in the late 50s-early 60s. In 1961, he composed a suite in 6 movements, “Perceptions”, with Gillespie. The 1st International Jazz Festival in Washington (1962), featured another large work. In 1965 he performed and recorded his “Euro Suite” in Vienna with a jazz-classical fusion orchestra; in 1968 his "Diversions" was commissioned & performed by the American Wind Symphony. JJ then moved to California to compose for film & TV, playing almost no concerts, but recorded 6 1977-84 albums as a leader, some as a sideman, 2 with Basie, and on “The Sting II” soundtrack. JJ returned to performing and recording in Nov. 1967-68 at NYC’s Village Vanguard yielding 2 albums. In 1992, he recorded 5 albums as a leader and sideman and earned several Grammy nods. He retired in late 1996 and wrote a book of original exercises and études for jazz musicians. On Feb. 4, 2001, he took his own life. Autograph sentiment (“Sincerely”) signed on a 4 ½ x 5 green autograph album page; undated but from late 1950's-early 60's.

Condition: Good, toning at edges would mat out
Type:Signed album page






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