J. J. JOHNSON Biography - Musicians


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Name: J.J. Johnson                                                                         
Birth name: James Louis Johnson                                                             
Born: 22 January 1924 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States                                 
Died: 4 February 2001                                                                       
J.J. Johnson (born James Louis Johnson) in Indianapolis, Indiana, (January 22,             
1924 - February 4, 2001), was a United States jazz trombonist, composer and                 
By his early twenties, Johnson developed a technique characterized by flawless             
precision, and he was the first trombonist to rise to the challenge of bebop               
music. He remained essentially unchallenged at the forefront of modern jazz                 
throughout his career. Johnson has long been regarded as the leading trombonist             
of the Post-Swing Era, exerting a pervasive influence on other jazz musicians.             
Johnson was commonly ranked among the first order of modern jazz musicians who             
came to prominence during the 1940s. He was known primarily for playing in the             
bebop style, but also worked extensively in other genres, notably in third                 
stream, which blended classical music and jazz. Johnson co-led a quintet with               
trombonist Kai Winding which toured extensively and recorded several successful             
albums. Johnson also recorded many solo albums, and was a sideman on many                   
classic jazz recordings. Several of his compositions, including "Wee Dot," "Lament,"       
and "Enigma" are considered jazz standards.                                                 
In 1970 he ceased performing in public for most of 17 years, before a comeback             
in the late 1980s. From the mid-1950s on, Johnson was a perennial polling                   
favorite in jazz circles, even winning "Trombonist of the Year" in Down Beat               
magazine during years he wasn't active. Voted into Down Beat's Hall of Fame in             
1995, J.J. Johnson's recording career spanned 54 years, from 1942 to 1996, when,           
his health failing, he committed suicide.