Joel Forrester/Phillip Johnston: Live At The Hillside Club (Asynchronous)
Live At The Hillside Club is a live recording of the duo of the co-leaders of The Microscopic Septet, Joel Forrester (piano) and Phillip Johnston (soprano sax) on a US West Coast tour in 2010, playing a combination of Joel Forrest and Thelonious Monk tunes. Forrester and Johnston have been playing together as a duo since the early 70s, about 35 years at the time of this recording.
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“There is a certain sparkling, effervescent quality to this music, an elegance rich and satisfying like a great scene from a Woody Allen movie when they were still worth seeing. Mr. Johnston is a fine soloist who brings poignancy and poise to these songs. Mr. Forrester’s playing is refined yet economical, sounding as if he is drawing from a wealth of styles and traditions. Even the four Monk covers are done with both craft and reverence and filled with little surprising twists. . .This disc is one of the most laid back and enchanting offerings we’ve listed in recent memory.”– Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Not So Fast – The Spokes
The Spokes is a trio of three composer/instrumentalists: Andy Biskin (clarinet), Curtis Hasselbring (trombone) and Phillip Johnston (soprano saxophone). Each contributes compositions to this collaborative trio which combines jazz and chamber music.
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“The group’s witty, seamless sound draws from Jimmy Giuffre’s trios (acting like a stripped-down version of Johnston’s Microscopic Septet) as well as baroque styles, klezmer, minimalism, Aaron Copland’s heartland music and early brass bands. Some of the tunes have fictional/historical components, like Biskin’s “Lady Baltimore,” which suggests a meeting of the minuet and West Side Story, and his minimalism-dappled “Wiesinski,” about a ruthless Eastern European entrepreneur. But even when not telling stories, the band has imagination to burn.” –Lloyd Sachs, Jazz Times
Boggy Creek Bop – SNAP (Rufus)
This Australian saxophone quartet – Phillip Johnston (soprano sax), Paul Cutlan (alto sax), Sandy Evans (tenor sax) & Nick Bowd (baritone sax) – plays tunes by Johnston and Evans, as well as one each by Allan Chase & Guy Klucevsek.
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John Shand, in the Sydney Morning Herald, described their appearance at the 2007 Jazz: Now Festival at the Sydney Opera House as, “creating sonorities from the Ellingtonian to the spiky,” and music writer John Clare called them “full of early jazz quirkiness, impressionism and modernity…”
Rub Me The Wrong Way – Phillip Johnston (Innova)
This CD features a series of compositions written and performed live for the choreographer Keely Garfield, for several different groups, over the late 90s. They have been described by critics as both ‘sweet’ and ‘sourly bouncy’.
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“Immensely charming and just a bit wonderfully weird.” – Bruce Gallanter, DMG
“Fans of Nino Rota, Frank Zappa and John Zorn will find much to admire. – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
Tales From The Cryptic – Guy Klucevsek & Phillip Johnston (W&W)
A recording of the duo of accordionist Guy Klucevsek and soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston, one in Eysines, France in 2002 for Winter & Winter Records. Compositions are split between Klucevsek and Johnston, with the exception of GK’s arrangement of Schubert’s ‘Der Leiermann’ and his and Teiji Ito’s reinterpretation of Strauss’s ‘Blue Danube’.
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Normalology – Phillip Johnston
Recorded by a combination of alumni of The Microscopic Septet and Big Trouble, this is a collection of (at the time) unrecorded Microscopic Septet tunes.
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“Alternately swinging, jaunty, funky, moody, languorous, but always imbued with wit and surprise.” Seth Rogovny, Berkshire Eagle
Music For Films – Phillip Johnston (Avant)
A collection of music from Johnston’s scores for The Music of Chance (1993), Umbrellas (1994) and Geld (1989).
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