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The Eminent, Vol. 1 Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, July 24, 2001
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Capri (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Lover Man (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 3:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Turnpike (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sketch One (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. It Could Happen To You (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 4:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Get Happy (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 4:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Capri (Alternate Take) (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 3:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Turnpike (Alternate Take) (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 4:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Get Happy (Alternate Take) (2001 Digital Remaster) (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1953
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B00005LANM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Johnson was unquestionably the first trombonist of bop when he recorded this June 1953 sextet date, although he had temporarily left full-time musical employment for work as a blueprint inspector at the time. That situation might have contributed to the combined sense of joy and urgency that propels this music, but it might also be the presence of the brilliant young trumpeter Clifford Brown, just 22 then and in his first month as a recording jazz musician. With their precise articulation, fleet inventiveness, and brassy fanfares, the two giants have much in common, and Brown's fire is a complement to Johnson's warmth. Johnson's talents as a composer shine on the boppish "Turnpike," while "Lover Man" shows both the depths of his lyricism and his knack for thoughtful arrangements using the limited resources of a small band. Jimmy Heath contributes some fluent tenor saxophone solos, and his baritone enriches the dark-hued orchestrations. The rhythm section of pianist John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Kenny Clarke--already three-quarters of the Modern Jazz Quartet--provides thoughtful and dynamic support. "Sketch" reveals Lewis's gift for stretching the range of jazz composition, creating a series of shifting moods for each of the horn players. Rudy Van Gelder's remastering adds significant presence and clarity to a session that was always distinguished by intrepid writing as well as lively execution. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
With little fanfare, Blue Note/Capitol (or Amazon) has lowered the price on many of the most essential RVG editions, making it hard to resist picking up both volumes 1 and 2 of this series. If you're limiting yourself to just one, don't assume Vol. 1 has to be better because of the presence of Clifford Brown. He's in predictably top form, as is Jimmy Heath, but Volume 2 is the more satisfying demonstration of J. J.'s singular eminence as a player, featuring him either as the solo horn or joined by the always companionable Hank Mobley. In fact, Vol. 1, with its 3-horn arrangements and harmonic obstacle courses, places less emphasis on J. J.'s melodic inventiveness and unique, burnished sound. Finally, both volumes include 3 gratuitous (for most listeners) retakes, making it tempting to download the master takes from both sessions onto a single disk.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Fischer on October 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Every time I listen to "Capri," the first track on this fine CD, I have to smile. What a joyful tune! Just try to keep from tapping your foot to the music, or humming along with the band. Go on, I dare ya.

J. J. Johnson's command of the trombone is stunning: fast or slow, high or low, he plays it all with seemingly effortless mastery. Note how melodic his solos are, even on the uptempo numbers. Jimmy Heath on tenor and Clifford Brown on trumpet play with energy and passion. The rhythm section--John Lewis on piano, Percy Heath (Jimmy's brother) on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums--sounds great but isn't as tight as the Kelly-Mingus-Clarke-Martinez section on Eminent vol 2.

Both vols 1 and 2 were remastered in 2001, with audio much improved over their 1989 CD releases.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By trumpet mercenary on December 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Many consider the two "Eminent J.J. Johnson's" to be the most exceptional of his illustrious career. Volume 2 is more adventurous and forward-thinking while this volume is more grounded in the bop tradition. Johnson, as a composer and one of jazz's most influential trombonists, arguably put out his best albums in these volumes.

"The Eminent J.J. Johnson Volume 1" captures the 29 year old trombonist turning the jazz world green with envy. This was the album to announce the arrival of a trombonist whose music was so remarkable in magnitude that if it were visual, it could be soon from the moon.

An artist on his first recording session for Blue Note as a leader can't ask for a better rhythm section than the modern jazz quartet's section. Jimmy Heath is an underground name in jazz circles, boasting a robust and imaginative sound on the tenor. Clifford Brown, jazz's best trumpeter, eagerly was cutting his teeth at these sessions and on his way to lands never before seen or traveled. The result is an album of perfect music, fair in its radiance, with the leading trombonist standing tall in the center of attention.

The brisk (but not breakneck) Capri is a definition of "the sound of happy" in jazz, "Lover Man" sees Johnson's trombone gleam with silver and gold, and "Get Happy" gets a harmonically quartal uplifting with Johnson's soloing hurling him up to his carven spot on the throne of "jazz's most fluid trombonist."

The album is practically flawless. Johnson, a mature leader, gives generous soloing time to all of his bandmates. He balances the bright and romantic perfectly tempo-wise, and mixes three of his best compositions with three classic standards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Conklin on June 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This 1953 recording is well worth acquiring by any lover of jazz. The arrangements, musicianship, and sound quality make this a 5-star CD for sure. The occasion provided a big boost to Johnson's musical career; the great trombonist was working a factory job at the time. This was only the third recording date for the outstanding young trumpeter Clifford Brown. Jimmy Heath plays solid tenor and baritone sax, and the rhythm section of John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke represents ¾ of the soon-to-be Modern Jazz Quartet. Judicious use of horns behind the soloist on several tracks are pleasing and boost the overall quality of the music beyond that of a typical 1950s "blowing session." Given the year of the recording, this is surely one of the better CDs--soundwise--in the Rudy Van Gelder remastered series.
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