Hot Jazz Tuba Howard Johnson and Gravity – TESTIMONY: It’s not that often we get a jazz CD in for review as “unique” as this… Howard plays jazz tuba – &, in fact, he doesn’t just “play it”… he truly is, as the promo sheets say, the “King”… I can guarantee you that your ears will be jumpin’ right along with every beat as you listen to the sheer joy Howard projects with his tuba on the 8:55 “Evolution“… though it starts off in a kinda’ slow “orchestral groove” mode, by the 1-minute mark you know you’re in the presence of one of the real jazz masters of today!
The opening title track, “Testimony“, has a genuinely mellow feel during the intro, but then dashes right into some of the most high-energy jazz playing you’ve ever heard! It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s joined by a whole host of tuba players as well… Velvet Brown; Dave Bargeron; Earl McIntyre; Joseph Daley; Bob Stewart, as well as fantastic players like Carlton Holmes – Piano; Melissa Slocum – Bass; Buddy Williams – Drums) and some special Guests… Nedra Johnson Vocal (track 2); Joe Exley – CC Tuba (tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 8); Background Vocals, (track 2) CJ Wright, Butch Watson, and Mem Nahda… just listen to my personal favorite track of the eight offered up, and you’ll know this is an “instant classic” that you simply MUST have in your collection if you really are the jazz-o-phile you say you are… at 11:16, “Fly With The Wind” is the longest track on the album, and therefore has the most room for development and contribution from each & every one of the stellar players; this tune alone makes it easy to give this (not only) my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, but a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 5.00… & that makes it my “PICK” for “best jazz tuba album – ever”! Get more information about Howard at the Howard Johnson official website (& be sure to tell him you read about him here, please). Rotcod Zzaj
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