George V Johnson Jr is a Master of the Art of Jazz Vocalese. This lyricist, actor, playwright, producer, promoter, composer and contributing editor was born in Washington DC on December 20 1950. He attended Prince George's Community College and Howard University School of Fine Arts.
Johnson's career began at the jazz club owned by Bill & Fanny Harris called PIGFOOT. At the workshops he was mentored by John Malachi and later Shirley Horn. His career spas over 40 years. After 3 years of close guidance and mentorship in 1977 he was named heir apparent and Next In LIne by the Father of Vocalese Eddie Jefferson, He has shared the stage with many jazz griants including James Moody, Lou Donaldson, Dizzy Gillespie, Wallace Roney, Bobby Watson, Benny Golson, Rodney Whitaker, CD Next In LIne featuring Herman Foster & Arnold Sterling, Jimmy Heath, Buck Hill, Marcus Belgrave, Cliff Monear and more...
George was privileged to make his recording debut with the legendary Pharoah Sanders on the LP "Rejoice" in 1981 featuring original lyrics to John Coltrane's Classic Moments Notice. Since retiring from New Jersey Transit Rail as a train conductor several years ago Johnson's career is on the move. Washington City Paper 2016 Best Vocalist of the Year. His recent tours and performances include 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival "Hank's Symphony", Steinway Jazz Cafe * Chicago Jazz Showcase, Denmark, Israel, Parma Italy, Atlanta, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Jazz Mobile New York, Philadelphia, Montenegro with Madeinnyintl Jazz All-Stars performance for President Filip Vujanovic, Charlie Parker Celebration * Blue Room American Jazz Museum and the DC Jazz Festival at the National Gallery of the Art Sculpture Gardens entertaining more than 16,000 fans. He has produced "MONK" starring 5 time Adelco Award winning Actor Rome Neal @ Blair Mansions, Black Angels Over Tuskegee by Layon Gray @ Navy Memorial Museum, TUNISIA by Smokey Stevens and more..
In 2003, George V Johnson Jr. was commissioned by Don Sickler of Second Floor Music to pen lyrics to the music of jazz legend and saxophonist, Hank Mobley. Since taking on the project Johnson has skillfully, completed over 40 of Mobley’s classic compositions and still counting. Some with complete solo’s. Critics are already saying this is one of the most important and extensive projects to be presented to the public from the jazz vocalese realm in many, many years. With Jazz Vocalese, still in a state of infancy.
GEORGE V JOHNSON JR., whose marvelous lyrics and viocal work are truly auspicous! He sngs with James Moody on ocassion and is happily remindflul of the insistent giftness of the late EDDIE JEFFERSON. Johnson’s three stanzars close with ”Relax dig the sounds of Coltrane’s Music. Coltrane fills your heart with love and harmony. Trane played with magic. Listen to the melodies and you will see momently. When you here the message of his song!”. There’s no doubt in my mind that henceforth George V Johnson should and will be sought for his own gift to the music. He sang the song for Sanders at the Village Vanguard, and Sanders “felt that George ought to be heard”.
Thank you, Pharoah Sanders for your spirit of sharing! Wheeeeee....what a dynamite track this is~~~~HERBIE WONG!
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