My first JJ Johnson record, "JJ! In Person” features JJ along with Nat Adderley in the front line. On here they play a number of great tunes, but one of the most amazing tracks is his version of the jazz standard “Laura.” Time and time again, I’ve had teachers and mentors mention this solo as a true piece of musical mastery. If you haven’t heard the original by JJ, you need to. It’s melodic, soulful, beautiful, and he kills some double time bebop language on this one.
It’s become one of my favorite tunes to play, and has a really fun chord progression to play on. I like to play it around the tempo that JJ did, so as to be able to have the drummer play the feel that Tootie Heath plays around the second chorus of JJ’s solo - a slick double time feel. Although here, it’s a touch faster, as we’re just a duo!
Alex Wintz is crushing it on this video, make sure you check out all the cool things Alex has going on for himself here!
See you all next time -