LaMont Johnson

Burned By the Passion

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After years of low-level activity, pianist LaMont Johnson (who gained some recognition earlier in his career for playing and recording with Jackie McLean) started his own MasterScores label and began recording again. On this set, Johnson's octet (with trumpeter Jeff Elliott and tenor saxophonist Jon Crosse) performs nine of the pianist's originals. Such selections as "Burned By the Passion," "Rude Rebellious Hues," "That Moment on the Terrace," and "Sugar Hill Too Hip" are atmospheric, sometimes haunting, and always swinging. Happily, Johnson's final decade was a productive period, and this was just one of several rewarding recordings by the underrated pianist.

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