David Johnson

Dual Force

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Marimba player David Johnson and guitarist Ken Rosser are perhaps best known for their work in avant-garde jazz settings and for being respected educators. Their matchup in a set of duets (Gregg Field adds cymbals to "Mambaza") is actually quite melodic much of the time. The music falls between fusion and post-bop jazz, staying unpredictable and stimulating all of the time and to an extent recalling the Gary Burton/Chick Corea duets. The blend between the two instruments is attractive, Johnson (who doubles on vibes) is a fluent soloist, and Rosser displays plenty of versatility. Although none of the melodies are destined to become standards, as a whole they form a strong unity that, along with the unusual instrumentation, gives this CD its own character.

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