Phillip Johnston's Big Trouble (Black Saint 120152-2)

"It loved to happen." -Marcus Aurelius

  1. The Invisible World - (3:36)(Johnston)
  2. Step Tempest - (7:07) (Nichols)
  3. Hemline - (2:51) (Steve Lacy) [arranged Johnston]
  4. Walking The Dogma - (5:52) (Kevin Norton)
  5. 12 Bars - (4:46) (Nichols)
  6. Natural Confusion/Waltz of the Untouched - (9:11) (Johnston)
  7. Chillbone - (9:53) (Johnston)
  8. The Hymn Of The Souls Who Are Passing/Still Water - (11:19)(Johnston)
  9. Nudididity - (7:07) ( Bob DeBellis)
  10. Powerhouse (3:12) (Raymond Scott)

Phillip Johnston - soprano, alto saxophones.
Bob DeBellis - soprano, baritone saxophones, bass clarinet.
Jim Leff - trombone.
Joe Ruddick - keyboards, sampler, alto saxophone (4)
David Hofstra - bass, Fender bass, tuba.
Kevin Norton - drums, percussion, marimba, glockenspiel.
David Tronzo - slide guitar (3,4,5,10)
Adam Rogers - guitar (1,6,7,10)
Marcus Rojas - tuba (6,7)
Richard Dworkin -bongos (6), talking drum (7)

Recorded June/July 1992 at Water Music Recorders, Hoboken, NJ.
Recorded and mixed by Jon Rosenberg.
Assisstant engineers: Nick Prout, David Voight, Ann Selznick.
Mixed August 1992 at East Side Sound, NYC.
Produced by Phillip Johnston and Richard Dworkin.
Executive Producer: Giovanni Bonandrini.
Cover Art: Wendy Lewis
Liner notes: Kevin Whitehead

"...highly focussed. The macroscopic band of the saxophonist/leader of the Microscopic Septet. Big Trouble comes out of the Willem Breuker tradition of playful irony, pastiche, nutty compostiions with hair-raising arrangements and loving jabs at the jazz canon."(4 stars)
—John Corbett, Downbeat Magazine

"Lyrical without lyrics, twisted without kinks; in spite of their name, Big Trouble offers a musical experience that is as careful as it is impressive. There's no appearance of risk here, as though such histrionics would detract from core of the music. Instead, the record's bracing coolness and technical accomplishment put backbone into the ordered whimsy of the compositions."
—Sally Eckhoff, City Paper, Baltimore

"Johnston's arrangemental sweep veers from elastic horn writing to the stuff of gnarly guitars and synth/sample colors."
—Josef Woodard, Pulse! Magazine

"Pulsing with sharp-eared musicianship, guided by snaky, unpredictable arrangements and spiked with zany humor..."
—Gene Santoro, The New York Daily News

Email Phillip Johnston.
return to front page