Sunday, April 18, 2010
If I Hit the Lottery
Bebop trombonist, composer, arranger, and bandleader JJ Johnson has a list of musical accomplishments a mile long and his biography is a who's who of jazz music. On my in-class listening, I regretted that I did not have time to include one of Johnson's most under-rated projects, the Brass Orchestra. Johnson's Brass Orchestra was a transfigured big band with trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba sections. In addition, the band had an enlarged rhythm section including harp and timpani. The group only recorded one album (to my knowledge) that included compositions and arrangements by Johnson, Miles Davis, Robin Eubanks, conductor Slide Hampton, and others. Beyond Johnson, the band included some heavy hitters: Jon Faddis, Eubanks, Jim Pugh, Steve Turre, Dave Taylor, Joe Alessi, Doug Purvivance, Rufus Reid, Freddie Santiago, and others.
Bruce Bonvissuto and Alan Raph played euphonium, joining Howard Johnson and Andy Rodgers on tuba.