Everything for the Music Enthusiast.
Music CDs and DVDs, books, musical instruments, music gear, music software, recording gear, audio equipment, music accessories, and more. Music promotion.
Promote Your Music | Subscribe | Advertise | Music Webmasters
Register/Login
Search OW
VIRTUAL CD - Listen          MUSIC REVIEWS        MUSIC RECOMMENDATIONS        NEW MUSIC RELEASES       CD ARCHIVES        ARCHIVES
Cover Stories | Features | Spotlights | Rising Stars | Launchpad | Kaleidoscope | New DVDs | New Soundtracks | Music Books | Music Software | Audio Equipment

Cirque Du Soleil
“Someone”
Delirium
(Cirque Du Soleil)
[listen] [buy] [download]

Patricia Barber
“Whiteworld/Oedipus”
Mythologies
(Blue Note)
[listen] [buy]

Cirque Du Soleil
“Someone”
Delirium
(Cirque Du Soleil)
[listen] [buy] [download]

Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
Prairie Dog Ballet
(Oak Avenue Publishing)
[listen] [buy]

Andy Timmons Band
“Gone (9/11/01)”
Resolution
(Favored Nations)
[listen] [buy]

Ralph Towner
“If”
Time Line
(ECM Records)
[listen] [buy]

Anoushka Shankar
"Beloved"
Rise
(Angel)
[listen]

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
(Blue Note)
[listen]

Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
(Electric Roots)
[listen] [buy]

Lemon
"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
[listen] [buy]

Spotlights [Issue # 18 ]
Marc Johnson: Shades Of Jade

By Jason Sklar


When acclaimed ECM producer Manfred Eicher approached bassist Marc Johnson to record something for his label, Johnson had no working band, so he assembled one from previous jazz gatherings. In an Ellingtonian vein, Johnson collaborated with Eliane Elias to draft and arrange songs that would specifically cater to the sensibilities of tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist John Scofield, and drummer Joey Baron.

Johnson’s reputation as a player on the scene was established during his tenure as bassist for Bill Evans’ piano trio in 1978-1980. “Creatively, who I am as a musical personality stems largely from the Bill Evans trio,” Johnson says. Inspired by bassist Scott La Faro’s 1961 “Jade Visions” off Sunday at the Village Vanguard, Shades of Jade pays homage to both La Faro and Evans in a patient, yet confident ensemble.

Initially, Johnson was drawn to Evans because the bass always had a versatile role in his groups. But, he is quick to say that others who have filled the bass shoes - Ron Carter, Charles Mingus, Dave Holland, and Charlie Haden - have been great sources of inspiration as well.

Additionally, Johnson’s 1985 recordings with guitarists Bill Frisell and John Scofield in his quartet, Bass Desires, provided great opportunities for pioneering new sounds. With Peter Erskine keeping time on drums, Bass Desires did more than rework standard melodies. They played original compositions and extended forms that carved out dense rhythms for liberating solos. On Shades of Jade, Scofield again steps out of himself just as the other group members do to create beautiful, bluesy and at times dark, thought-provoking music.

“Shades of Jade is a real ensemble piece,” comments Johnson. “There’s no real solo.” As free flowing as the album may sound, much of its structures are pre-planned and measures of improvisation are numbered. “In that sense, the environment was really controlled,” he says. While there is no extended solo in the traditional sense, choruses were allotted and dictated. In turn, players colored inside the lines while at all times remaining free to select new tones and hues. Undeniably, this framework has proven creatively constructive in this setting.

The reverb settings, sequencing, and the instruments’ placement in space relative to their respective recording devices contributed to an exceptionally clean sound on par with other ECM albums. Johnson believes that the label’s reputation for high artistic standards encouraged all those participating in this project to bring an especially attentive sensibility to it. As a result, “the band dedicated themselves to focusing on and sublimating themselves for the sake of the music,” he says.

Johnson, Elias, and Baron worked together as a trio for a while leading up to the recording date. “There are a lot of subtle things we don’t even realize,” he says. “We had been rehearsing the music between and before a lot of other gigs so we were really familiar with the forms and changes by the time it came to record.”

While the dynamic grace of Shades of Jade is rooted in the tight knit trio, it expands and contracts with the entrances and exits of Lovano and Scofield. The instrumentation is intriguing, not merely because it sidesteps a soloist-centered format, but also in its atypical use of sax and guitar in supporting roles of the piano trio.

To a large degree, the album is presented as an augmented piano trio as opposed to a standard quintet (or sextet when Alain Mallet sits in on organ). But even when non-trio players are absent, their role can still be felt lingering in the background of the subsequent song.


Shades Of Jade
ECM

Shades Of Jade Marc Johnson Shades Of Jade


buy issue order article copy printer friendly email

print license web license buy music Marc Johnson tickets


More OW Spotlights articles on
Dino Saluzzi & Anja Lechner Robert Glasper Tony Levin
Mike Stern Stefano Bollani Mick Fleetwood
Leon Gruenbaum Paul Stanley Stefon Harris
Dimitri Vassilakis Sarah Kelly Charlie Musselwhite
Cassandra Wilson Andy Timmons Charlie Hunter
Richard Butler Mimi Fox Sergio Mendes
Manu Katche Queensryche Sergio Mendes
Manu Katché Queensrÿche Neil Diamond
Blues Traveler String Cheese Incident Joe Zawinul
Eric Johnson Teenage Fanclub Shelby Lynne
Al Green Babatunde Lea Johnathan Rice
Dom Minasi & Carol Mennie Rolando Villazón Savina Yannatou
Young Dubliners Tom Waits Dianne Reeves
Kasey Chambers Tears For Fears Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette
Paul Thorn Concrete Blonde Jing Chi
Angela McCluskey Morrissey Tomasz Stanko
Wilco Lila Downs The Corrs
Harald Weinkum Gipsy Kings David Byrne
Eliane Elias Patti Smith Charlie Musselwhite
Frank Gambale Dave Douglas Norah Jones
Robert Miles And Trilok Gurtu Lisa Gerrard/Patrick Cassidy John Vanderslice
Gerald Gradwohl Blind Boys Of Alabama Sarah McLachlan
Iggy Pop Al Green Living Colour
Greg Howe Sting Cesaria Evora
Randy Newman Cab Cassandra Wilson
Michael McDonald Jane's Addiction Annie Lennox
Ibrahim Ferrer The Thorns Etta James
Sco Lo Ho Fo Nick Cave Ry Cooder
Styx
 



About
| Contact | Jobs | Privacy Policy | Advertisers | Archives | Advertise | Subscribe
Listen To ONE WAY Virtual CD Music Online | New Releases | Upcoming Shows
| Music Webmaster Affiliate Program | Music Link Exchange | Music Bands, Links, Info

Find out more about music promotion through ONE WAY Magazine

   Copyright © 2006 ONE WAY Online. All rights reserved.


 


 


  Internet Links: