Joe Johnson
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Joe Johnson


Band Jazz R&B


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The best kept secret in music


"Review of "Life Of The Party""

Out of Nashville comes alto saxophonist Joe Johnson who has played on more that 400 commercial and jingle dates. He has also opened national concerts for or shared the stage with a mega list of super stars in not only Jazz, but also mainstream music. This is his second CD. I found that the product and music on this disc rivals any of the well know Smooth Jazz saxophonists that are out today. Most of the songs are originals and fresh interesting pieces of music. Take the title track which mixes a little of some Acid Jazz with R&B and Smooth Jazz. It's real funky on a mid temp level. Very grabbing. "Sumthing, Sumthin", a track that seems to be getting a lot of attention from radio programmers is a nice mid to up tempo song with a body swaying feel. Some real nice playing on this tune to boot. I liked the chorus effect playing over his own notes. Johnson's playing doesn't sound like anybody in particular giving him his own sound which is warm and pleasant. "U Know What's Up" is another up tempo romp that also uses that chorus effect. Johnson can get romantic, too. "A Dream" is sultry with this R&B backdrop that I know I've heard before, but it works really, really well here. There are a couple of covers on this disc. "You Don't Know My Name" and Roy Ayers "My Life (Everybody Loves The Sunshine)." The later has lots of improvisation that shows off Johnson's skills. If radio would be willing to give a new comer a chance Joe Johnson could be a big star.
- Jeff Charney, Contemporary

"Joe Johnson's "Life of the Party" is a must have for any Urban Smooth Jazz or R&B lover's collection"

"Life of the Party" ,YASNY Labels Group latest release from international saxophone sensation Joe Johnson is a mind blowing musical experience that both the lovers of Contemporay Jazz and fans of Hip Hop and R&B will truly enjoy. "Life of the Party" offers listeners 11 funky, fresh and groove filled smooth jazz interpretations of some of today's chart topping Hip Hop and R&B hits. Key Tracks include a refreshing smooth jazz twist to Alica Keys #1 hit "You Don't Know My Name","Sumthing Sumthing" (Maxwell's classic Neo-Soul Jam) and a explosive and danceable arrangement of the Donell Jones club classic "You Know What's Up" which Johnson has already taken to #1 in several smooth jazz markets across the country. From the opening piece "Juke Joints and Jams" a hard hitting rework of the Black Eyed Peas Hip Hop Classic, to the satin like sound and vibe of the Mary J.Blidge cover "My Life"(Everybody Loves the Sunshine) "Life of the Party" captures some of Johnson's most evocative, soulful and groove filled moods.


Cover Story, album 2002
Life of the Party, May 2005- YASNY/Emergent?Sony Red
Sumthin Sumthin, single
U Know What's Up, single 2005
My Life, single 2005
Juke, Joints and Jams, single 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Joe started on the road that would lead him to jazz distinction at an early age in Memphis,TN where he played in his high schools music program and his family's church choir. Raised on R&B, Gospel Music and Memphis Blues , Johnson attributes his high school band director Emerson Able, for steering him in the right musical direction. "Mr. Able made sure that I was well prepared musically to face the world and never let me suffer from any delusions of grandeur". Joe's early musical influences were Charlie Parker , Hank Crawford, David Sanborn, Grover Washington, and Kirk Whalum. After receiving a music scholarship and attending Tennessee State University, he soon realized that some of the "world's best music was being made right at his doorsteps." There was no reason to leave Nashville because everyone was coming here to record," says Joe.

Johnson's mastery of the saxophone continued to evolve in Nashville where he worked as a studio session player during the day and at night played R&B and smooth jazz in some of the U.S.A.'s must illustrious nightspots. Even though Johnson is only in his mid thirties he has amassed an extremely impressive resume and list of musical accomplishments that combine both commercial and jingle work with recording sessions and live concert dates. Joe has played on more than 400 commercial and jingle dates working for major clients such as Target, Ford Motor Company, Budwiser Beers, Taco Bell, Coke, and Mattel Toys just to name a few. He has opened national concerts for or shared the stage with a "Who's Who" of musical mega stars such as: Areatha Franklin, Anita Baker, Sade, Vanessa Williams, Gerald Levert, Jamie Foxx, KEM, Roy Ayers, Boney James, Phil Perry, Melissa Morgan, Doc Powell, Will Downing, Take 6, Donald Byrd, Cameo, Kim Waters, Phil Perry, Miles Jaye, Alex Bugnon, Kirk and Kevin Whalum, Peabo Bryson, Gearld Veasely, Angela Bowfill, the O'Jays, Barbara Mandrell, Howard Hewitt, Kindred, Karen Briggs, American Idols Kimberly Locke, Dr. Bobby Jones, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and a host of others. Most recently Johnson was included in gospel music videos for top selling artist Smokie Norful and Donald Lawrence and just completed a cross country arena tour playing for sold out audiences nation wide with Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, and Yolanda Adams on the gospel extravaganza "Hopeville".

Johnson demonstrates a dazzling facility with both Jazz and R&B idioms on "Life of the Party". "I think that the listener can appreciate that this release has a little something for everyone on it". From the funky head bobbing opening piece "Juke Joints and Jams" , to that satin like sound of "My Life" ( Everybody Loves the Sunshine), or the laid back Neo Soul lounge vibe of "Didn't Ya Know", "Life of the Party" captures some of Johnson's most evocative and resonate musical moods. It is a "must have" for any music lovers collection