Mid-Western USA reared trumpet ace Russ Johnson and the producers’ mention that this is all about American made jazz music. Alternatively, Johnson and his associates are among the top New York City-based jazz visionaries. Amid numerous session dates and involvement with the exciting band "The Other Quartet," this engagement stands as the trumpeter’s first solo outing. And it’s a beaut!
With this effort, Johnson weaves various influences and stylizations into pieces driven by soothing accents, punchy unison lines and his vocal type, wah-wah trumpet parts. Moreover, the quartet infers a rather nebulous demarcation between future jazz and mainstream proclamations. Hence, the artists are comfortable within a hodgepodge of musical formats, whether it is a loping funk groove or hyper-mode free-bop and much more.
Johnson and saxophonist John O’Gallagher tear it up on occasion while also rendering ethereal balladry, awash with yearning lines and emotive soloing. They abide by a loose and wily demeanor while frequently delving into complex regimentations to coincide with the rhythm section’s staggered pulses and gravitating impetus. Ultimately, the music and arrangements are engineered upon shifty little revelations that seem uncannily appropriate within the overall game-plan. (Raucously recommended.... )