JOSH JOHNSON - FREEDOM EXERCISE Vinyl LP
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|Chicago-area native Josh Johnson’s vital presence in the vanguard of new jazz music is evident by his features on countless critically-acclaimed projects like Jeff Parker’s Suite for Max Brown and Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings. When he moved to L.A. eight years ago, he thought his stay would be temporary. The saxophonist and keyboardist would spend enough time there to learn from his heroes Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, but not a complete geographic pivot. But eight years later, Johnson is still in L.A., where he recorded his debut album Freedom Exercise with three “musically omnivorous” friends (the very quality that inspired him to stay on the West Coast). The songs on Freedom Exercise reflect this idea of genreless exploration — a fluid combination of jazz, post-rock and electronic music. Ultimately, Johnson’s compositions are concise yet expansive, like an intimate gathering in a sprawling city.|