J.J. Johnson


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Trombonist J.J. Johnson is joined by a string orchestra arranged by Robert Farnon for most of the performances on this CD. Farnon's sweeping scores can sometimes come closer to movie music and muzak than jazz but the high quality of the songs and a few surprising departures make this CD recommended. Wynton Marsalis has three guest appearances (including a spirited unaccompanied duet with Johnson on the old Jimmy Lunceford hit "For Dancers Only"), Johnson takes his blues "Opus De Focus" as a duet with bassist Chris Laurence and the trombonist is in particularly fine form on such numbers as "The Meaning of the Blues," "Dinner for One, Please, James," "The Very Thought of You" and his own "Lament."

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