ORGAN THING: Now how good is this fresh slice of earfood from LA-based experimental multi-instrumentalist Josh Johnson…


Don’t be asking us for the biscuits on this one, these musical things just turn up in the Organ in-box day after day, hundreds of them, non stop, everyday, e.mails, links to music, things to listen to, press releases that we never read until we’ve listened to the music – a voice will yell “Who’s this?”, the answer is always “I don’t know, I haven’t looked yet”. We do like to avoid all the hype and “you Organ people will love this one” (we hardly ever do) and just throw the music on. These press releases and links, the in-box is bursting, go out for an hour and we’re swamped, go to for a day and we can get back in through the front door for them. I could bluff it, I could read the press release and then pretend I know who, “LA-based multi-instrumentalist Josh Johnson” actual is. Apparently Mr Johnson has just signed to Northern Spy and has just released this new single (do people still release singles, can we go and get this on seven inch from the music counter next to the broken biscuit stand in Woolworths?), I know nothing about Josh Johnsoo other than the fact that I really like this and I need some more. The press release is underneath the music, the links are at the end…


LA-based multi-instrumentalist Josh Johnson —whose 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—today, launched his project under his own name with the release of his first single, “856,” and announced signing with Northern Spy. An electronic track that displays his musically omnivorous DNA, “856” reveals a love for the proto-house explorations of Herbie Hancock and the graceful modular synthesizer compositions of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Listen to “856” here.

Josh Johnson is a saxophonist, keyboardist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. He has performed extensively with the likes of Jeff Parker, Kiefer, Makaya McCraven, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Leon Bridges and Marquis Hill.  Johnson can be heard on records by all of these artists, as well as records from the Chicago Underground Quartet, Jeremy Cunningham, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Dawes, Dexter Story, Louis Cole and Joshua White.

Since 2018, Johnson has been the musical director, keyboardist and saxophonist for Leon Bridges, which has taken him to Europe, Asia and Australia. Highlights of his time with Bridges include sold-out performances at Radio City Music Hall, Greek Theater, and the Hollywood Bowl.

As a composer, Johnson has written music for many of his own projects, including the bands Snaarj and Holophonor, in addition to writing music for commercial use. He recently contributed arrangements to Sara Gazarek’s album “Thirsty Ghost”, which was nominated for two Grammy awards. In 2015 Johnson was commissioned to compose an hour-long piece by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. His resulting multi-media work “UNREST” takes an unflinching look at the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest, and was premiered at the Angel City Jazz Festival.

Johnson currently resides in Los Angeles.



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