Aaron J. Johnson: Shamba




Aaron J. Johnson (trombone)


Songs of Our Fathers (Bubble Sun 1001)

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Aaron J. Johnson (trombone),

Salim Washington (tenor saxophone), Onaje Allan Gumbs (piano), Robert Sabin (bass), Victor Lewis (drums). Composed by Aaron J. Johnson


Recorded: Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ, May 21, 2007


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

This slow-simmered, down-home blues starts with a bellowing bass line and is chock full of flavor and soul. Itís good to hear a front line of saxophone and trombone tonally combining so nicely to state a unified theme. Trombonist Johnson and tenor saxophonist Washington set out the melody line in a sparse, mournful statement that drips with laid back hurt.

Pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs plays behind a perfectly laid out rhythmic backdrop set up by the tasteful drums of Victor Lewis and the steady bass of Robert Sabin. Gumbs tickles the blues from his keyboard with a gentle attack that wanders delightfully through the progression delivering a marvelous sense of feel and time especially at the closing of his solo.

Johnsonís turn is understated and purrs along with the hum of a powerful Peterbilt, unassuming yet muscular. He posses a throaty enjoyable tone that is soulful but disappointingly he never lets loose on this solo. Conversely, Salim Washington comes out with a strong tenor sound. His phrasing brings to mind Grover Washington at his best. Gumbs, Lewis and Sabin continue to hold it all together with tasty flourishes to the faded ending. All in all this piece saunters through your head and has you keeping the beat in time to its laid back infectious groove.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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