Randy Johnston

Randy JohnstonDetour Ahead
Randy Johnston
(High Note – 2001)
by Dick Bogle

Five-star soul-jazz brought to you by five star players who are currently the kings of that vernacular. This is leader-guitarist Randy Johnston’s second High Note date, and he brought along tenormen David “Fathead” Newman and Houston Person, organist Joey De Francesco and drummer Byron Landham. Person is heard only on the first cut, “Blues For Edward C.”

Newman solos first on the 9-minute, 17-second piece. Person gets a nice taste, too, as do Johnston and De Francesco on this nice medium-tempo blues. Johnston’s fine ballad chops exercise on “A House Is Not A Home.” He embellishes the melody with great sensitivity. He turns on the heat with his rapid-fire work on “The End Of A Love Affair.” Other tunes include “They Long To Be Close To You,” ” Two Step Snake,” “Detour Ahead” and “Dearly Beloved.”

Reprinted with kind permission of The Skanner.