Mojo (Publisher) - 12/01, p.126
"...Direct and engaging..."
Personnel: Jay Jay Johnson (trombone); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly (piano); Charles Mingus, Paul Chambers (bass); Kenny Clarke (drums); Sabu (congas).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on September 24, 1954 and June 6, 1955.
Digitally remastered by Rudy Van Gelder.
This is part of Blue Note's Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.
Personnel: J.J. Johnson (trombone); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly (piano); Kenny Clarke (drums); Sabu Martinez (congas).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Author: Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: New York, NY (09/24/1954/06/06/1955); Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (09/24/1954/06/06/1955).
Photographer: Francis Wolff.
The second of two Blue Note CDs (which differ in their content from the similarly titled LPs) contains two complete sessions that showcase trombonist J.J. Johnson. The first six titles (highlighted by "Old Devil Moon" and "Too Marvelous for Words") feature Johnson in a quintet with pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Charles Mingus, drummer Kenny Clarke and the congas of Sabu. For the later session, there are also six titles (including "Pennies from Heaven" and "Portrait of Jennie") plus three alternate takes; Johnson is joined by Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Horace Silver, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Kenny Clarke. Both of these dates offer listeners excellent examples of the talents of the great trombonist who always played his instrument with the fluidity of a trumpet. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow