This part five is Elzy's posts through October and November. Highlighted in blue are some of my comments to the various stories or people mentioned. I encourage you to explore any of the names you haven't heard of and share the favorites that you know! Comment below! And, as always, a huge, huge thanks to Elzy for her time and effort on this little project of hers. I enjoyed checking each day to see which names she'd mention next.
October 1 · Happy Oct. 1 b'day to bassist Dave Holland. He and Howard played together on Carla Bley's "Tropic Appetites" album.
October 2 · As part of the ongoing Howard Johnson 75th birthday year celebration, I want to mention that he played with bassist Jaco Pastorius and Word of Mouth.
October 3 · Saxophonist Dennis Mitcheltree celebrated a birthday Sept. 25. He and HoJo have played together over the years, including celebrating the music of Billy Strayhorn.
October 4 · While I was prepping my post mentioning that singer Leon Thomas appeared on Pharoah Sanders' album "Izipho Zam" with a band of luminaries including Howard Johnson, I discovered that Leon was born October 4, 1937. What a lovely coincidence!
October 5 · Today marks the anniversary of the birth of trumpeter Bill Dixon. If you're guessing that Howard played with him, you're right. Howard plays baritone and tuba on the "Bill Dixon 7-tette" recording.
October 6 · Howard Johnson and the great saxophonist Joe Henderson played together in the George Gruntz band.
October 7 · Pianist Junior Mance has a birthday coming up next week, October 10. Get prepared to celebrate it by watching this video with Junior, as well as Howard.
October 9 · Today marks the anniversary of the birth of John Lennon. I mentioned a while back that Howard Johnson played with Lennon on the "Walls and Bridges" album. They also appeared together on the Yoko Ono album "Walking on Thin Ice."
October 10 · During their tenure with the George Gruntz Concert Jazz band, Howard and Sheila Jordan shared time on the stage and in the studio. Last time Howard was at my house, he enjoyed checking out "Jazz Child," Ellen Johnson's bio of Sheila.
October 11 · Today is the anniversary of the birth of drummer Billy Higgins. Howard and Billy played together on Hank Mobley's album "A Slice of the Top."
October 12 · Howard has often worked with drummer Newman Taylor Baker.
October 13 · Today is Pharoah Sanders' b'day! I know I mentioned before that Howard Johnson played with Pharoah, but he also recorded an excellent album paying tribute to the great saxophonist, "Arrival." Bassist/vocalist Sabine Worthmann is part of Howard's band Nubia.
Howard points out that he and Pharoah came to New York at about the same time, 1962-63. "We were the young cats on the scene," he says.
October 14· Getting in just under the wire for today's daily HoJo 75th birthday year post ... Happy belated birthday to saxophonist Lee Konitz, born Oct. 13, 1927, and still playing beautifully. Howard and Lee played together for at least three tours with the George Gruntz Concert Big Band, but they go back further than that. According to Howard, the two met in the '60s and have mostly stayed in touch since then.
October 15 · A lot of talented people were born Oct. 13, including Paul Simon, who was mentioned in a previous post. Bassist Ray Brown was also born Oct. 13, 1926. He and Howard did some West Coast studio work together, and also were in the Gil Evans band together in 1966. Howard recalls, "Gil's rhythm section was Ray Brown and Elvin Jones--that has to be the only time they played together!"
October 16 · Happy Oct. 16 birthday to trombonist Ray Anderson. He and Howard played together in the George Gruntz Concert Big Band.
October 17 · Guitarist Sonny Sharrock--and Howard--are part of the great band on Pharoah Sanders' "Izipho Zam" album.
October 18 · Howard Johnson toured and recorded with the George Gruntz Concert Big Band for a loooonnnggg time, along with scores of great players, including trumpeter Tanya Darby. Check 'em out on the recording "News Reel Matters."
October 20 · Happy b'day to Lina Allemano! She's on the Tim Postgate "Banjo Hockey" album, along with Howard.
October 21 · Happy birthday to guitar ace Steve Cropper. He and Howard were part of Levon Helm's RCO All Stars. As was so often the case when Steve Cropper played, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn was on the gig too.
Check it out.
It's been a while since I've posted a roundup of some of the people Howard Johnson's played with in 50+ years in music. I've been mentioning names and sharing stories daily since February, and here are just a few of the musicians who have been mentioned: Kenwood Dennard, Jerry Gonzalez, Ray Chew, Bill Watrous, Kenny Barron, Charnett Moffett, Shelly Manne, Bernard Purdy, Marcus Miller, Jaki Byard, Tom Malone, Chuck Rainey, Billy Drummond, John Hiseman, Lalo Schifrin, Ray Mantilla, Milt Hinton, George Gruntz, Joe Chambers, Reggie Workman, Elmo Hope, John Lee, Julian Priester, Stanley Clarke, Don Pullen, Frank Perowsky, Ron Carter, Dannie Richmond, Scott Neumann, Arthur Blythe, Dave Sanborn, Josephine Baker, Mel Lewis, Geoff Muldaur, Warren Smith, Billy Cobham, Hank Crawford, John Hall, Cecil McBee, Eddie Bert, Geri Allen, Steven Bernstein, Steve Cropper, Clark Gayton, Donald Fagen, Dr. John, Pinetop Perkins, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Larry Campbell, Velvet Brown, Marvin Gaye, Tessa Souter. Bob Stewart, Eli Yamin, David Bargeron, Marcus Rojas, Russell D. Vines, Tom Varner, Cameron Brown, Jack Walrath, Jane Bunnett, Earl McIntyre.
October 22 · Oct. 22 is the birthday of saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett, who has a long history of collaborating with Howard, including on the album "Radio Guantanamo." The band includes Kevin Breit on guitar.
October 23 · Howard played with drummer Paul Motian, including on Carla Bley's album "Tropic Appetites."
October 25 · Today, Oct. 25, is the birthday of trombonist Robin Eubanks, who appeared on Abdullah Ibrahim's "African River" album with HoJo. Happy 75th birthday year, Howard!
October 26 · Happy Oct. 26 b'day to trumpeter Eddie Henderson, who appeared on J.J. Johnson's album "The Brass Orchestra," as did Howard Johnson.
October 27 · Eddie Bert is among the many fine trombonists that Howard has played with in his half century in music.
October 29 · Speaking of trombonists, Howard appeared on Rafi Malkiel's "My Island" recording.
Howard and saxophonist JD Parran have also shared stage and studio.
October 30 · Howard played with pianist Ronnie Matthews in the T.S. Monk band and elsewhere.
October 31 · I can't believe I've been doing daily posts about Howard Johnson since February and haven't mentioned saxophonist Erica Lindsay until now! The two go way back, long-time collaborators.
November 1 · Happy November 1 birthday to trombonist Conrad Herwig! Yep, he's played with Howard, in the Charles Tolliver band and elsewhere.
November 2 · Trumpeter Thad Jones is among the great bandleaders Johnson had gigged and recorded with.
November 3 · Drummer Rob Garcia and multi-instrumentalist HoJo have played together.
November 4 · Drummer Bruce Cox and Howard have played together.
November 5 · Throughout his career, bassist Steve Swallow has played with many of the greats, including Howard Johnson during the Jazz Composers Orchestra era. Through Sunday, Steve is with the Liberation Music Orchestra at Jazz Standard, celebrating the release of "Time/Life." Carla Bley told me earlier this year that Charlie Haden had personally chosen Steve to take over bass duties with the band.
November 6 · The Liberation Music Orchestra wraps up its run at Jazz Standard tonight, and French horn maven Vincent Chancey will be on the bandstand, along with Carla Bley and a host of greats.
If you're guessing Vincent and Howard have played together, you're right.
November 7 at 7:22pm · Howard Johnson played on Muhal Richard Abrams' "Blues Forever" album. That's one of those recordings with so many good players it will yield posts for days, including French horn player Vincent Chancey, mentioned here yesterday.
November 8 at 11:08pm · Happy b'day to clarinetist Don Byron. I do believe he and HoJo have played together.
November 9 at 8:28pm · Today, Nov. 9, is the birthday of flutist Hubert Laws. Howard appears on his "Romeo & Juliet" album.
November 10 at 4:11pm · Happy birthday to trumpeter Stanton Davis. He seemed to be on just about every gig I went to when I first moved to New York, including George Gruntz, Gil Evans, Sam Rivers and many others. Howard was on a lot of those gigs, too, and he and Stanton Davis performed with George Russell on the "Living Time" album.
November 11 at 11:34am · Today's gonna be a tuba two-fer: Bass clef maven Jack Jeffers appears at Zinc Bar tonight, Nov. 11. If you're guessing that he knows and has shared numerous bandstands and recording sessions with Howard, you would be right, going back beyond the "Escalator Over the Hill" days.
And for the second half of today's tuba two-fer, Nov. 11 is the birthday of trumpeter Hannibal Marvin Peterson, a Gil Evans band alumnus. Check out his work on "There Comes a Time," there's always something new to hear. Howard Johnson is in the band, as are Joseph Daley, Bob Stewart, Lew Soloff, John Clark, Tom Malone, David Sanborn, Warren Smith, George Adams, and others who have been mentioned here as part of the ongoing Howard Johnson 75th birthday year celebration. Herb Bushler's bass line is killin'!
November 12 is the anniversary of the birth of saxophonist Charlie Mariano. Howard Johnson and Charlie both appeared on George Gruntz's "Theatre" album.
November 13 at 7:15pm · November 10 was drummer Andrew Cyrille's birthday. Belated best wishes to the Liberation Music Orchestra and Jazz Composers Orchestra alumnus. Howard was in both bands at the same time.
November 14 at 5:19pm · Happy birthday to pianist George Cables! He and HoJo go way back--George was in Howard's first tuba ensemble in 1968. The two also played together in the Charles Tolliver band.
Also, happy b'day to bassist Kim Clarke! She and multi-instrumentalist Howard have played together in the George Gruntz band, including on the recording "Sins'n'Wins'n'Funs."
November 15 at 9:23pm · Nov. 15 is the anniversary of the birth multi-instrumentalist Jerome Richardson. After hearing Johnson play with Charles Mingus, Jerome asked for his phone number and called him for a lot of record gigs. He remained supportive of Howard for the rest of his life.
The two multi-instrumentalists appeared together on Teri Thornton's album "I'll Be Easy to Find," among other projects.
November 17 at 10:18am · Happy 81st birthday to trombonist Roswell Rudd, born Nov. 17, 1935.
Howard and Roswell Rudd have played and recorded together on albums including Archie Sheep's "Mama Too Tight" and the Jazz Composers Orchestra's "Numatik Swing Band."
November 18 at 10:53pm · Today's the anniversary of the birth of trumpeter Don Cherry, born Nov. 18, 1936. He and Howard Johnson both appeared on Charlie Haden's "Liberation Music Orchestra" album.
November 19 at 10:37pm · Howard and pianist Joanne Brackeen have played together numerous times when their paths crossed on the road or closer to home.
November 20 at 7:31pm · Howard and French horn player Julius Watkins played together with the Jazz Composers Orchestra.
November 21 at 10:27pm · Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy was another Jazz Composers Orchestra alumnus, along with HoJo
November 22 at 11:16am · Today is the anniversary of the birth of trombonist Jimmy Knepper, born Nov. 22, 1927. He and Howard Johnson played together with the Jazz Composers Orchestra. They're both Mingus alumni and both worked with George Gruntz, I bet their paths crossed in those bands and in numerous others.
November 23 at 4:26pm · Happy birthday to bassist Ray Drummond. He and Howard Johnson played together in a tribute to Pepper Adams at the Detroit Jazz Fest a couple of years back. And elsewhere, I'm sure.
November 25 at 12:23am · Keyboardist Richard Tee was born Nov. 24, 1943. He and Howard played together with Lou Rawls, Paul Simon and others.
Today is the anniversary of the birth of trumpeter/composer Nat Adderley, born Nov. 25, 1931. Howard was still in the Navy the first time he met Nat in the early '60s during his first visit to New York. Howard told me about it in the late '90s when we did a lengthy interview for program notes I wrote for a brass conference scholarship offered in his name.
Howard was wandering around Midtown when he realized there were recording studios in the neighborhood. He thought he might glimpse one of his favorite musicians. His patience was rewarded when he spotted Nat Adderley. He approached Adderley and began praising him enthusiastically. "I didn't impress him too much," Howard recalls. Adderley was puzzled by one thing: Thinking Howard was too young to be in the service, he asked, "Why are you dressed like that?"
November 26 at 9:47pm · Howard played with drummer Louie Bellson on his big band album.
November 27 at 9:22pm · Happy birthday to trumpeter Randy Brecker, born Nov. 27, 1945. He and Howard played together with Louie Bellson and his big band, also with Gil Evans and the Jazz Composers Orchestra.
November 28 at 3:17pm · Happy birthday to bandleader Paul Shaffer. He and Howard Johnson go way back to the 1970s and the early era of Saturday Night Live. Paul had some lovely things to say about Howard in his book "We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives," and he also played on the first Gravity album.
November 29 at 9:08pm · Happy birthday to drummer Billy Hart. He and HoJo both appear on the Pharoah Sanders album "Izipho Zam."
November 30 at 6:12pm · Yesterday, Nov. 29, was the birthday of drummer Adam Nussbaum. As alumni of the Gil Evans band, Adam and Howard Johnson shared many a bandstand and many a recording studio.