GORDON JOHNSON "TRIOS V.2" (Jazz piano trio collection)
Gordon Johnson - String Bass on all tracks
Pianists; Phil Aaron, Jimmy Hamilton, Donnie LaMarca, Phil Markowitz & Kenny Werner
Drummers; Joe Bonadio, Jay Epstein, Phil Hey, & Gordy Knudtson
Finally, I've managed to produce a follow-up to my first disc, Trios. This one is a continuation of the same concept with which I had recorded previously; a bunch of pianists and drummers passing through as fate would have it. I was exceedingly fortunate to have these remarkable musicians come over to Matthew Zimmerman's state of the art Wild Sound Studio in Minneapolis and record with me. Our two resident giants, Jimmy Hamilton and Phil Hey, play together on a very mellow version of the Ray Charles hit, You Don't Know Me. Jimmy, who toured with Ray, asked Matthew to push the record button and then broke into this song. Phil & I figured out where he was headed and it turned out to be a real gem. My college buddy Phil Markowitz appears in sizzling rare form with Gordy Knudtson, both sounding just incredible on the three tunes from that date! Phil has musical history with Dave Liebman, Toots Thielemans, the Mel Lewis Orchestra and Chet Baker to name just a few. GK & I go way back here in Minneapolis with Manfredo Fest and many other jazz and r&b groups. We toured North America & Down Under with blues guitarist, Roy Buchanan. Gordy is also the developer of the fantastic GK Super-Phones for session drummers. Please visit; www.gk-music.com. What can anyone say about Kenny Werner? He and drummer Jay Epstein send it to the stratosphere with a wonderful rendition of Kenny Wheeler's Everybody's Song But My Own. What a gorgeous composition! Later on we do a "wild" tune based on some familiar chord changes. The title I gave it is an ANAGRAM* for the original. See if you can discover what song the changes are based on before we get to the last few bars, where Kenny finally gives us a little clue. Check out Kenny's wonderful book & cd Effortless Mastery. My road pal Joe Bonadio was passing through town, and I asked him to play drums on a session with 2 pianists; Phil Aaron and Donnie LaMarca. We got great renditions of Falling Grace, Solar and a Phil Aaron original Passage, in memory of his mother. Finally, Donnie, Joe & I give Bob Dylan's, Watching The River Flow, the blues-shuffle treatment. I must give a nod to The Gadd Gang cd for the vibe on this tune. I'm pretty sure their rendition was arranged by Steve Gadd and Richard Tee.
*erratum: In the booklet there is a mistake; "acronym" should be "anagram". page 1 (corrected at this site)