George V. Johnson, Jr.

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Considering himself the musical offspring of the highly entertaining jazz singer Eddie Jefferson, George V. Johnson, Jr.'s common surname has sometimes led to confusion, particulary in the early days…
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Considering himself the musical offspring of the highly entertaining jazz singer Eddie Jefferson, George V. Johnson, Jr.'s common surname has sometimes led to confusion, particulary in the early days of his career when neither the middle initial nor "junior" status were attached to his credits. Some discographers thus see a double image in which a man named George Johnson was involved in modern jazz singing projects, including credits for vocal arrangements in 1979. Then along comes George V. Johnson, Jr. a few years later, hanging in for the long haul and finally enjoying the benefit of releases under his own name with the ironically titled Next in Line in 2000.

Not to be confused with scat singing, which consists of nonsense syllables and sounds, this vocalist belongs to a singing tradition in which lyrics are concocted to fit the ebb and flow of a jazz soloist's performance, often including the original improvised horn solo. While Johnson, Jr.'s excellent efforts included a version of John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" for one of Pharoah Sanders' highly-praised Evidence recording dates in the early '80s, the singer's efforts were reduced to part-time status for a good portion of the ensuing decades due to having to hold a day job. Nonetheless, he performed regularly as part of the James Moody group, a fitting setting since after all it was where Jefferson himself had been featured quite regularly. After the release of not one but two discs under his own name in 2000 Johnson, Jr. apparently decided to notch up his efforts and try to make it as a fulltime performer.