J.J. Johnson – Jazz Quintets

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J. J. Johnson’s Jazz Quintets is a studio album by jazz trombonist J. J. Johnson, released by Savoy Records, containing material from three different recording sessions in 1946, 1947 and 1949. Material from the first two sessions had been previously released on two Savoy EPs, New Trends In Jazz, Vol. 11 (Savoy XP 8047) and Birth of Bop, Vol. 3 (Savoy XP 8086). The album was re-issued on CD in 1992, and again in 1994 on the Savoy Jazz label (Wikipedia).

AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow:
One can fault this CD for having brief playing time (a dozen selections totaling less than 33 minutes) and for not including the alternate takes, but the music is beyond criticism. When trombonist J.J. Johnson burst on the scene in the mid-’40s, his speed, fluency and quick ideas put him at the top of his field, where he remained for over a half century. This 1992 CD has the trombonist’s first three sessions as a leader, music that qualifies as classic bebop. Johnson is matched with either altoist Cecil Payne, baritonist Leo Parker or tenor great Sonny Rollins (on one of his first dates) in quintets that also include Bud Powell, Hank Jones or John Lewis on piano; Leonard Gaskin, Al Lucas or Gene Ramey on bass; and Max Roach or Shadow Wilson on drums. Other than the ballads “Don’t Blame Me” and “Yesterdays,” the repertoire is comprised of originals (including Rollins’ “Audobon”) containing lots of tricky lines, concise but heated solos, and virtuosic playing. Until a more complete reissue takes its place, bop fans not owning the music (plus the alternates) on earlier LPs will definitely find this CD valuable (http://www.allmusic.com/album/j-j-johnsons-jazz-quintets-mw0000235431).

Track listing:
This is the track list for the CD re-issue. All songs were written by J. J. Johnson, except where noted.

“Jay Bird” – 2:56
“Coppin’ the Bop” (Max Roach) – 2:57
“Jay Jay” – 3:04
“Mad Be Bop” – 2:38
“Boneology” – 2:57
“Down Vernon’s Alley” – 2:32
“Audubon” (Sonny Rollins) – 2:45
“Don’t Blame Me” (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields) – 2:46
Goof Square” (Rollins) – 2:23
Bee Jay” – 2:24
“Yesterdays” (Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach) – 2:57
“Riffette” – 2:25

Personnel:
J. J. Johnson – trombone

June 26, 1946, tracks 1–4 (New Trends In Jazz, Vol. 11)

Cecil Payne – alto sax
Bud Powell – piano
Leonard Gaskin – bass
Max Roach – drums

December 24, 1947, tracks 5–6, 11–12 (Birth of Bop, Vol. 3)

Leo Parker – baritone sax
Hank Jones – piano
Al Lucas – bass
Shadow Wilson – drums

May 11, 1949, tracks 7–10

Sonny Rollins – tenor sax
John Lewis – piano
Gene Ramey – bass
Shadow Wilson – drums

Released: 1950s
Recorded: June 26, 1946, December 24, 1947, May 11, 1949
Length: 32:44
Label Savoy

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