J.J. The King 1 of 9
anonymous June 29, 05
J.J. was someone I never got to know personally, only through his music, which touched me on a deep level. I got into him originally through listening to his chief disciple, Curtis Fuller, who I heard with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Soon I realized that J.J. was the fountain from which inspiration flowed for so many great modern jazz trombonists, from Eddie Bert to Julian Priester to Bill Watrous to Steve Turre. If one listens closely to J.J. one can hear a surprising amount of Jack Teagarden influence, which one does not hear in Fuller's even-more-refined, Miles Davis-influenced style. J.J. was also an amazingly skilled composer-arranger. The Poulenc-influenced session he arranged for Dizzy Gillespie (Perceptions, Verve) for me represents the pinnacle of J.J.'s large ensemble writing.
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