Josh Johnson unveils his new singles “Western Ave” and “Nerf Day”, promoting his debut LP “Freedom Exercise” on Northern Spy Records. Josh is a saxophonist, keyboardist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He has performed extensively with the likes of Jeff Parker, Makaya McCraven, Kiefer, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Marquis Hill, and Leon Bridges.
Johnson can be heard on such amazing records Makaya McCraven “Universal Beings” and “Universal Beings E&F Sides”, Chicago Underground Quartet “Good Days”, Jeff Parker “Suite for Max Brown” and “The New Breed”, Joshua Crumbly “Rise”, Jeremy Cunningham “The Weather Up There”, Marquis Hill “Love Tape” and “Modern Flows Vol 2”, Nate Mercerau “Joy Techniques” and Mark de Clive-Lowe “Heritage” and “Heritage II”. His upcoming glorious debut album we can easily fit on the same shelf as all the mentioned above records.
“Freedom Exercise” is a collection of songs tied to that same idea of genreless exploration — jazz, post-rock and electronic music are certainly all inspirations, but none reigns exclusively. The stripped-down album is built on layers of distinct melodies occasionally softened by distortion, delay and reverb
Watch below a video to Josh Johnson songs “Western Ave” and “Nerf Day”, the singles from his forthcoming debut album “Freedom Exercise”:
Since 2018, Johnson has been the musical director, keyboardist, and saxophonist for Leon Bridges, which has taken him to Europe, Asia and Australia. Later he joined his friend from Chicago and frequent collaborator, guitarist Jeff Parker in his residency at a bar called ETA in Highland Park, an epicenter of L.A. improvised music scene.
“A lot of people I’ve connected with here have opened me up to a lot of things I hadn’t imagined. It brings in a lot of people who don’t go to jazz clubs. It’s a thing that’s been very stimulating for me because it doesn’t feel insular. It’s helped me be a better listener in improvised settings. Not just playing to play, but really thinking about why, and what something is for”, Josh said about this experience.
As a composer, Johnson has written music for many of his own projects, including the bands Snaarj and Holophonor, in addition to writing music for commercial use. He recently contributed arrangements to Sara Gazarek’s album “Thirsty Ghost”, which was nominated for two Grammy awards.
Listen below Josh Johnson songs “Western Ave” and “Nerf Day”, the singles from his forthcoming debut album “Freedom Exercise”:
Josh Johnson debut album “Freedom Exercise” will come out 9 October 2020, via Northern Spy Records.
Josh Johnson - saxophones, mellotron, prophet 6, percussion, synth, ms-20, wurlitzer, flute, bass clarinet, synth bass, and a sampler
Anna Butterss - bass,
Gregory Uhlmann – guitar
Aaron Steele – drums
- Nerf Day
- Western Ave
- New July
- False Choice
- Simple Song
- Return Recoil
Other wicked songs and projects worth checking this week:
Aratita Electronik Jazz Quintet - Fables Of The Solar Gods
Okvsho, Sreya - Kamala's Danz
Cosa Nostra Strings, Jazz Mafia, Lewis Patzner - Kill Em with Kindness
Demae, Ego Ella May - Stuck in a Daze
Shunaji - Cosmic Blues
Isatta Sheriff, Ruth Ellen - Find Our Way
Soul Inscribed - Home Is Free
Adeline - Twilight
Contours & Yadava - Start First Finish Last
Shai Soul-Wright - Elevate
KAMAUU, Adeline - MANGO
Janelle Monáe - Turntables
Andrew Wasylyk - Last Sunbeams of Childhood
Lionel Loueke - Cantaloupe Island
Sultan Stevenson - Safe Passage
Aquiles Navarro, Tcheser Holmes - Pueblo
Skeltr, Sam Healey, Craig Hanson - Cheef Beef
Jungle By Night - Unlimited Love
La Récré - Banger
Ill Considered - Liquid Science