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The Eminent Vol. 2

Rmst ed.

Reissued, Remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, July 17, 2001
$17.44 $4.03


Editorial Reviews

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J.J. Johnson was the first trombonist to demonstrate that bop could even be played on trombone, using his stellar technique to negotiate twisting, high-speed heads and to generate the lithe, rapid-fire lines associated with saxophones and trumpets. Along with acclaim and frequent imitation, he was also met with criticism for sounding mechanical. As this CD amply demonstrates, though, Johnson wasn't an unfeeling technician, but a subtly expressive player, a master of understatement who could substitute a restrained slur and a lightly muffled note for the trombone's often exaggerated bray. His expressive qualities are much in evidence on the two quintet sessions from 1954 and 1955 paired on this CD. The first six tracks have the trombonist accompanied by a superb rhythm section of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Kenny Clarke, with conga drummer Sabu Martinez adding a Latin touch. The emphasis is on standards, with Johnson swinging lightly on "Too Marvelous for Words," building a tropical fantasy on "Old Devil Moon," and creating moments of gorgeous languor on "Its You or No One" and "Time After Time."

The 1955 session has Johnson and Clarke joined by burgeoning heavyweights of the hard-bop movement--tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Horace Silver, and bassist Paul Chambers--and it's a terrific combination. Johnson and Mobley fuse into a mellow team, and there are opportunities for both the boppish sides of the band ("Viscosity"), and its bluesy side, with Johnson's "Groovin'" inspiring some characteristically soulful playing from Silver. Rudy Van Gelder was the original engineer on these sessions, and his digital remastering has done wonders to the overall sound and definition of each instrument. His new input is especially notable on the earlier material, where Clarke's and Sabu's drums now stand in clear as well as close relationship to one another. --Stuart Broomer

Stream The Eminent J. J. Johnson - Volume 2 (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) by J. J. Johnson and tens of millions of other songs on all your devices with Amazon Music Unlimited. Exclusive discount for Prime members.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 2001)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: 1954
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00005LKC0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,253 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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