Archive for January 4th, 2008

Masterpiece: The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 2

4 January 2008

[Today: Taking shelter from the storm…]

The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 2

The Bay Area is currently being battered by relentless rainfall and hurricane force winds. It’s pretty cold, wet and miserable outside, which makes being inside and warm just that much better. The P and I spent our evening running around doing errands in preparation for a weekend shuttered in. After the last bag of groceries had been hauled inside, we lit a fire and sat down to some reading, enjoying the clown-like antics of our two 6-month old kittens, Oscar and Willie. We’ve got a big stack of jazz records that are just begging to be listened to, and what better possible evening to take on such a project?

Sonny Clark set a pretty nice mood for a while, via Sonny’s Crib (thanks Dusty Groove/Chicago), and then Donald Byrd weighed in with Long Green – one of the great trumpet albums – the cat just blows. Then we heard from the Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker quorum – and a fine pair they are. Mulligan/Baker was my “morning album” that I listened to every day for about 2 years straight (I could usually get through three sides of vinyl before scurrying off to work). Art Farmer held court for awhile with his excelllent collection Farmer’s Market. And then Jay Jay Johnson took the needle of our record player and made it swing. The guy plays slide trombone, but makes it sound like a muted trumpet – good good good.

Where our house sits, it sometimes feels like the winds are forming a giant cartoon fist and pummeling our sides, rattling windows, as well as people and animals. But tonight we’re all pretty cozy and content. The way 2007 flew past, the days kind of start blurring together and few stand out. So thanks for humoring me while I take a few hundred words to etch down one day and keep it for myself.

Listen: Pennies From Heaven (Alternate Take)