Gordon Johnson's latest release, Gordon Johnson - Trios No. Five
is his fifth release in his series of jazz trios that features some of the
brightest talents on piano and drums, and backed by Gordon's extraordinary bass
Gordon Johnson -
Trios No. Five
Gordon Johnson - Trios No. Five: Cilantro; United;
Hope; Ruby; Apart; Where The Heart Is; Dream Dancing; Adventureland; Indian
Personnel: Gordon Johnson: Bass; Phil Hey: Drums;
Matt Wilson: Drums; Dave Frishberg: Piano; Art Hirahara: Piano; Lars Jansson:
Piano; Frank Kimbrough: Piano; Bryan Nichols: Piano
Gordon Johnson - Trios No. Five was released on the Tonalities
Records label and is the fifth in the series of Gordon Johnson's Jazz Piano
Trios; see the Music
Scene section to read a review of Gordon
Johnson GJ4. Gordon Johnson released his first foray into the Jazz Piano
trio format back in 1996, and his love of blending the elements of drums,
piano, and bass into rich textures of sound and feeling continue to amaze me.
His instincts on which song best fits with which set of musicians is truly
unique; he pairs musicians with music like pairing a fine wine with a gourmet
The release opens with the track Cilantro (written by Gordon Johnson) that features Swedish pianist
Lars Jansson; the song was a result of Gordon and Lars working together in
music workshops. Cilantro is a lively
track that opens with a fluid piano segment that is paced by a solid baseline;
you can feel Lars smiling and enjoying every note that he is playing. United (written by Wayne Shorter) features
Gordon's friend and someone who he has shared the stage with many times,
pianist Art Hirahara. The song pulsates with a driving drum beat that leads you
through the arrangement and hands off the musical baton for powerful and
passionate piano and bass solos, but this is all about the dazzling piano work
of Art Hirahara.
The track Hope
features Frank Kimbrough on piano on this improvisational bluesy track; the
song ebbs and flows like waves crashing on a beach and creates a relaxing and
exciting sound. David Frishberg tickles the ivories with a rumba arrangement of
the song Ruby. The track Apart features Bryan Nichols playing
piano on a song that he wrote and features Matt Wilson on drums; an animated
arrangement that has both musicians pushing each other to new levels. The track
Adventureland has Bryan and Matt back
together on a track that was written by Matt Wilson; an arrangement that is
free flowing like a conversation between two people, with the drums asking
questions, and the piano responding in poetic verse.
The track Where the
Heart Is (written by Art Hirahara) features Art Hirahara on piano on a
touching ballad that is made even more emotional by the soft brush strokes on
the drums, a beautiful arrangement from the beginning to the end. Art is back
on the piano covering the Cole Porter song,
Dream Dancing, a bouncy arrangement that is alive with energy and feeling.
The release closes with the track Indian
Summer (written by Victor Herbert) that features Frank Kimbrough on piano,
a light arrangement that ties together the art and soul of the trios music.
Websites where you can procure Gordon Johnson - Trios No.
Five are Gordon
Johnson, CD Baby, and CD
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