Steve Turre – One 4 J: Paying Homage to JJ Johnson
One 4 J: Paying Homage to JJ Johnson
(Telarc – 2003)
by Paula Edelstein
Trombonist and shell master Steve Turre pays tribute to the man known as the spiritual father of the modern trombone and one of the most notable figures in the history of jazz. Accompanied by trombonists Robin Eubanks, Joe Alessi, Steve Davis, Andre Hayward and Douglas Purviance, the masterful Turre shares the composing spotlight on eleven great tracks that make up One 4 J: Paying Homage to Jj Johnson . Great soloing is what makes this CD worth adding to your collection. From the opening track, “Overdrive” to the closer titled “Minor Blues” Turre and company offer a provocative and comprehensive declaration of their respect for Johnson. This uptempo piece written by J.J. in the 60s for his trombone and tenor quintet, features a new arrangement for the two-trombone quintet and features Turre and Robin Eubanks who is a member of Dave Holland’s stellar quintet.
Robin Eubanks really shines on his powerful solo but for this writer, it is his solo on “Mr. Johnson” that embodies virtually every innovation and development listeners have been able to remember from Johnson’s brilliant career. Together with Turre, both musicologists produce an inspiring and entertaining tribute. Steve Davis, a member of Chick Corea’s ensemble called Origin, is explorative and creates a powerful illustration of Johnson’s technique on “What Is This Thing Called Love?” He and Turre take solos that are both captivating and memorable. Overall, this is an excellent homage to J.J. Johnson and one that is masterfully played by some of the leading trombonists on the jazz scene today.