J.J. Johnson


J.J. Johnson (born January 22, 1924, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - died February 4, 2001, Indianapolis, Indiana) was an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger.

1941-1942: he toured with the territory bands of Clarence Love and [a1705697].
1942-1945: [a258701]'s big band. Made his recording debut (taking a solo on "Love for Sale" in 1943) and played at the first Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concert (1944).
1945-1946: [a253011].
1946-1960: various work with all of the top bop musicians, including [a75617] (with whom he recorded in 1947), the [a64694] big band, [a257114] (1947-49) and the [a23755] 'Birth of the Cool' Nonet. His own recordings from the era included work with [a29992] and a young [a145264]. He also recorded with the [a311056].
1951-1952: played with [a255767] and Miles Davis.
1954-1956: formed a two-trombone quintet with [a267186] that became known as [a1696791] - various reunions would later happen.
1956-1960: led a quintet that often included [a298943]; began to focus more on his own compositions, starting with 1956's "Poem for Brass" and including "El Camino Real" and a feature for Dizzy Gillespie, "Perceptions"; his "Lament" became a standard.
1961-1962: worked again with Miles Davis, and led some small groups of his own.
1960's: greater part of time spent writing television and film scores.

By the 1970's, Johnson was so famous in the jazz world that he kept on winning Down Beat polls despite the fact that he was not really actively touring or playing. However, starting with a Japanese tour in 1977, J.J. gradually returned to a busy performance schedule; during the 1980's he would go on to lead a quintet that often featured [a552908].