Marcus Johnson – Just Doing What I Do

Just Doing What I DoJust Doing What I Do
Marcus Johnson
(Three Keys – 2004)
by S.H. Watkins, Sr.

Marcus Johnson is a pianist / Composer / Producer in his prime. Just Doing What I Do is an assortment of tracks written by Johnson, Ronnie Garrett, Rex Rideout and others, including a sweet track entitled 18th & M by my favorite Chicago guitarist, Nick Colionne. The album starts out with the meandering, slightly offbeat title track. Johnson stretches out a bit on this cut, showing that he has style and panache, not just talent. RJ’s Groove is just that… a stone cold groove. Love has a little more of a pop flavor and some nice vocals from Frank “Scoob” Mitchell.

Marcus does a cover of the Alicia Keyes hit If I Ain’t Got You where he duets himself with piano and synth-sax … it’s absolutely wonderful! Then he comes back with a smooth track that he and Phil Davis performed called Sunday @ Seqouia; Johnson’s sweet keyboarding riding atop a latin backbeat. Same Thing is THE shot of funk for the month. “Scoob” Mitchell does the vocals on this funky, bluesy in-your-gut cut that makes you mooooove. Whereas ‘Same Thing’ is low down funky, Yellow Cup is jazzy funky… instrumental and jazzy with a HEAVY dose of bottom funk.

The cover of the Beyonc√© Knowles tune Me Myself and I is another great rendition of a beautiful song with some well placed vocal harmonies to accent the music. Rex Rideout sits in on the upbeat New Beginnings. Co-written by Rideout and Ronnie Garrett this is the track that will probably find it’s way into the rotations on the smooth jazz stations. This is one of the best albums I’ve heard in months and It’s going to be in my personal rotation for a while. This one is 5 stars, go get it.