Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Hank Mobley middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone!

love that mobley!

1 comment:

YMajesty said...

1ST Annual Trenton Jazz Summit
Produced by George V Johnson Jr
Top Stories
PETE DALY, Staff Writer
The Trentonian - News - 09/19/2004 - Unlikely spot for fans of cool...

TRENTON -- Jazz enthusiasts were treated to a swinging good time last night at an unlikely jazz hot spot, the Amber Cafe in the heart of the city’s Polish neighborhood.

The cafe’s dimly lit, elegant decor was perfectly complimented by the soothing jazz tunes of George V. Johnson and a crew of jazz virtuosos at the restaurant’s first Trenton Jazz Summit.

"It’s very calming, and very elegant. The music is a perfect blend (for the restaurant)," said Anna Sypniewski, who owns and operates the year-old Amber Cafe on Brunswick Avenue with her husband, Janusz.

Johnson crooned original lyrics to more than 25 melodious compositions of the late jazz great Hank Mobley in front of a sold-out crowd at 8 p.m. and a large 6 p.m. audience.

Johnson’s velvety voice blanketed the sounds of veteran jazz artists Bootsie Barnes on the tenor sax, Grammy award-winning arranger Don Sickler on trumpet, Sid Simmons on piano, James King on the bass and Ronnie Burrage on drums.

Barnes is a master saxophonist from Philadelphia and a close friend of the late Mobley, widely considered to be one of the greatest American jazz artists.

Sickler, also a friend of Mobley’s, has won several Grammy awards for his arranging, most recently for his work on the last album by the late John Henderson, "Lush Life." Simmons is a Philadelphia native best known for his performances with jazz great Grover Washington. King and Burrage have played with numerous acts since the 1970s.

"I think it’s great," said Louis Sample, 64, a Ewing resident who has been a jazz fan since childhood. "It’s beautiful. Jazz is the one thing we lack here. There are other acts at KatManDu and Perry’s (on North Olden Avenue), but there’s nothing like this. I’m glad I came to check it out."

Johnson said although people might think the newly-opened Amber Cafe is not a typical jazz establishment, he and his band jumped at the idea.

"It’s perfect because we’re taking this national treasure to this atmosphere to be enjoyed by all races," Johnson said. "Jazz is a universal language."

He said he hopes other Trenton establishments catch on to hosting jazz acts.

"People are starving for it," Johnson said. "Jazz is the original art form in America."

©The Trentonian 2005

By: George V Johnson Jr.

The Music of Hank Mobley is monumental project and a very hot commodity. The news is spreading like a wild fire through the jazz community! Everyone should experience this! See what the buzz is all about. Join in the fun and bring the music of Hank Mobley to your city today! It's jazzically wonderful. Imagine swinging lyrics to Hank's classics like.....

Soul Station, Hank's Symphony, Dig Dis, No Room For Squares, East of The Village, This I Dig of You, Take Your Pick, Three Way Split, Split Feelings, Up A Step, Work Out, The Baptist Beat, My Groove Your Move, Soft Impressions, Hank's Waltz, Chain Reaction, Roll Call, Syrup & Biscuits, Snappin Out, Comin' Back, The Feelings Good, Uh Huh, Up Over and Out, Looking East, Cute N' Pretty, Third Time Around, Bossa For Baby, Ballin, Madeline, No More Goodbyes, The Break Through, Hank's Other Bag, Infra Rae, Straight No Filter...and more

Arrangements by Don Sickler
Grammy Award Winning Arranger, Producer & Trumpeter

In 2003, Washington DC native George V Johnson, Jr. and "Heir Apparent" to the late Eddie Jefferson, Father of Jazz Vocalese was commissioned by Second Floor Music to pen lyrics to the music of jazz legend and saxophonist, Hank Mobley. Since taking on the project Johnson has skillfully, completed over 40 of Mobley's classic compositions and still counting. Some with complete solo's. Critics are already saying this is one of the most important and extensive projects to be presented to the public from the jazz vocalese realm in many, many years. Still state of infancy, Johnson is almost single handedly keeping jazz vocalese alive as exemplified from his past live performances presenting the Music of Hank Mobley. A feat unmatched by any of his peers in the music industry including his mentors the late Eddie Jefferson & Jon Hendricks the head masters of vocalese. His lyrics are well rounded, beautifully written and a classic work of art. In the spirit of Eddie Jefferson, Johnson's a modern day "GRIO" telling stories our ancestors would be very proud of Hughes.

For the past two years he has been introducing the jazz public to his lyrics with performances during the week-long Hank Mobley Jazz Festival 2003 at Jazz Standard NYC, produced and arranged by Don Sickler. There he was blessed with the presence of Jazz recording legend Rudy Van Gelder who hadn't attended a Jazz club in over 40 years since John Coltrane appeared at the Village Vanguard during the mid 60's. Also, Hartford Ct - Bushnell Park Monday Night 2004 Jazz Series & Live Radio Broadcast, 1st Annual Trenton Jazz Summit 2004 , produced by GVJ and New Years 2005 performance at Twins Jazz Club in Washington DC. A new recording of this project is now in progress.

Hank Mobley recorded many of his classic compositions on the Blue Note label (Van Gelder Studio) featuring some of the greatest names in jazz. Known in jazz circles as the "MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMP," Mobley composed over 100 songs which are becoming jazz classics and every musicians dream. Johnson's soulful style and earthy lyrics to this great composers work establishes new dimensions in Jazz Vocalese. The voice accented with this great group of musicians magically connects with the Mobley spirit. Just imagine! Swinging, stories that take you on a musical voyage through the past and present. Everyone should experience this! See what the buzz is all about. Join in the fun and bring the music of Hank Mobley to your city today! It's jazzically wonderful.

From the time he wrote lyrics to and sang Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" for a Pharoah Sanders date "Rejoice", it was clear that George V. Johnson, Jr. was a sure-fire inheritor of the vocalese mantle of Eddie Jefferson. Not from the rapid-fire scat and lyric enunciation school of vocalese whose headmaster is Jon Hendricks, Johnson is instead from a more Jeffersonian place -- that ultimate hipster Eddie Jefferson, that is.... Willard Jenkins

One of the Greatest Composers & Saxophonist in the History of Modern Jazz