LAMONT JOHNSON is an electric bassist, singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and arranger who was born and raised in the "MOTOR CITY", Detroit, Michigan.
As a local Detroit musician during the 1970's, Lamont played in various powerhouse bands throughout the metropolitan area. Among such bands included the nine(9) piece pop band "Brainstorm".
As a featured member of Brainstorm, Lamont performed as an electric bassist and vocalist. During the mid 1970's, Brainstorm was signed to an international recording deal with RCA on the Tabu Record label.
On Brainstorm's debut album entitled "Stormin",Lamont performed various bass solos, displayed his smooth vocal style and penned 3 of the 8 compositions on the album including the title cut. Two compositions featured on the album clipped the Billboard charts as #48 and #14 respectively. The irony of this project is that the most popular song on it was never released as a single, "This Must Be Heaven", is a highly sought-after composition as is this album.
Lamont has recorded with numerous local talent throughout the Detroit area and internationally known artists such as David Sanborn, Brecker Brothers, the late great Phyllis Hyman, Anita Baker with Chapter 8, Hamilton Bohannon, Tom Scott, David T. Walker, Harvey Mason, Earth, Wind & Fire's horn section, Howard Johnson with Niteflyte and Lee Ritenour to name a few.
LAMONT JOHNSON: - This must be heaven 2004
(US Allee Music Group, 2004)
Dreamin’ – Innuendo – This Must Be Heaven – Hightime – Allee – L’Blues – Freedom Jazz Dance – Ode To Eddie – Music Of The Sun 2004 – Sibble Siblings – Mood Swing – Lamont’s Lament – Once Upon A Time – Everything Is Everything – (Live Solo Bass 101) – Brainstormin’ – All Night Longg – Good Friend of Mine – Treat Me Like Dis
Lamont Johnson was a familiar name to me, and on further inspection I happily noted that this was the same gentleman who was the bassist for Brainstorm back in the 1970s, and same man who had two solo sets on Tabu in the early 1980s. With a name like this though, we automatically assume a fair level of quality! So what is this fine gentlemen offering us 20-plus years on from his Tabu albums? Sheer unadulterated quality that’s what.
There are more than a few absolute KILLERS on this release. One of which is possibly one of the best songs I have heard this year so far – and we know what fantastic material has been released, don’t we? When I plugged into CD Baby and listened to the opening seconds of our first song, “Dreamin’” my hands were reaching to click order. This MONSTER bass line and slinky groove is straight from heaven and I whisked back in mind in an instant to the music put out by Frederick and Sugarfoot back in the mid 1980s. THEN the warm, early 80s keyboard kicks in – by this time I was desperate for this CD. Seriously, I have not been grasped by a song like I did for a long time.
I also went head-over-wallet when I moved on and heard the remake of Brainstorm’s seminal “This Must Be Heaven”. This is aptly named, and the song will appeal to lovers of Lonnie Hill’s “Could It Be Love” as it is similar groove. The fine female vocals are from original Brainstorm members and the style is close the original. Simply awesome stuff and songs like these are a godsend. In my darkest days of musical despair it is material like this that reminds me that there is still some sanity in the recording industry – although NOT in the major label camps, as your would expect. There, the lunatics still run the asylum. As for the rest of the CD it is largely instrumental, highlighting Lamont’s Immense talents to the maximum. It is clear to see why he, along with Deon Estus, were the only members of Brainstorm to receive solo recording contracts. The all-too-short “innuendo” is a great song, and I adored “Lamont’s Lament” which is more like Byron Miller than Byron Miller! The much missed, late great, Eddie Jefferson is an idol of Lamont for sure, and there are two salutations to the man – the funky sax-driven frenetic and racy cover of “Freedom Jazz Dance” is fun, addictive and boy does that sax blow! “Ode to Eddie” is more paced, the sax and melody in tune with our memories of the man’s great scat vocals. Who could not love songs such as “Janine” or “New York Afternoon” with Richie Cole? Fans of bass guitar and sax will really appreciate “Music Of The Sun 2004” which reminds me a little of some of 101 North’s quirky collaborations with George Duke.
The fresh airy slap bass peppered “Mood swing” is worth popping into CD player if you have one – and get those steering wheel bongos’ going on the way to work! This is the sort of quality, happy, song would expect from the likes of Alphonse Mouson or George Howard in his TBA recording days. “Brainstormin’” is another diverse effort with plenty of funky bluesy characteristics. Finally is “All Night Longg” which is a rootsy, country-ish, southern-fried outing with Ray Charles in mind. This album is the week. I love this CD, and I promise you that the CD is worth its purchase for “Dreamin’” alone – one of THE songs of 2004. Listen to the bass line and be gripped!
For info. and more!!!!!
Visit Lamont Johnson at: www.eulajohn.com
P.O. BOX 760551
LATHRUP VILLAGE, MI 48076