Home > Bebop > J.J.Johnson


Happy Birthday to the trombone master. From Indianapolis, Indiana born 1924. The first Trombonist to play in the Bebop style. J.J. came out of the Swing era regarded as the top trombonist playing with Benny Carter’s Orchestra and Count Basie’s Big Band from 1942 – 1945, he also played in the first “Jazz at the Philharmonic” concert in Los Angeles. By 46′  J.J. was playing in New York small group bebop settings and toured with Illinois Jacquet. He recorded as leader on Blue Note featuring greats such as Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, and Bud Powell. He recorded with Charlie Parker for Dial Records upon Parker’s release from Camarillo Hospital. At this point to say J.J.Johnson has some very deep roots in the history of Bebop would be an understatement. in 1954 J.J.Johnson played and recorded with fellow trombonist Kai Winding forming a unique combo under the name Jay and Kai creating several highly successful albums. After the mid fifties J.J. continued to play with some of the greatest names in Jazz, Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, Freddie  Hubbard, Clark Terry and many more. The late 80’s saw him playing Village Vanguard in New York which yielded Standards from the Polygram label,  J.J. would pass in 2001 from cancer.

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