This CD features 8 original jazz compositions in an innovative musical setting utilizing two bassists, saxophone and drums.
FROM JIM STINNETT:
This has been one fun project! Playing music with Todd, Joe, and Dino is such a pleasure for me. These guys listen and hear every note and nuance I play. While this can be unnerving, it is also a treat to work with such respectful musicians.
Todd Johnson and I have become fast friends the past couple of years. He is a wonderful musician and a kindred spirit. When I first saw Todd perform his chord melodies, I immediately recognized his genius. NO ONE has done what Todd is doing. Oh yeah; jazz guitar players and pianists play chord melody all the time, but Todd does this better than most while performing on his 6-string bass. He makes this very difficult style sound beautiful and look easy. Todd truly is a “Pioneer of the Six-String Bass Guitar.”
The music we make on this recording is fairly simple and straightforward. The goal was to create an environment for showcasing Todd’s chord melodies. We chose to work with Dino Govoni and Joe Hunt because they are beautiful compliments and can shine when needed. Both of these gentlemen are consummate professionals.
Be sure to check out Todd’s new book / DVD, Fishin’ For Grips. This learning tool is an in-depth look at Todd’s style of playing jazz. The pedagogical work is sure to set the bass world on fire. Fishin’ For Grips is destined to become the foundation for a whole new generation of gripping bass players. I am truly honored to be a part of this movement.
“Have you decided? I know it’s a tough choice for some of you. And, probably a few of you just are not mature enough to appreciate a good clean scalp. With luck, you’ll get there. You know, God created only a few perfect heads and covered the rest with hair. So, you choose … Mr. Melon? … Light Bulb? … Toddster? … Gutter Ball? … Ah yes, Jimmy S, One Good Looking Guy. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner!”
FROM TODD JOHNSON:
> Let me say how grateful I am to the entire Stinnett family for your all your love and hospitality and for welcoming me into your family. I’m also extremely grateful to Jim Stinnett for his friendship, mentorship, encouragement, incredible musicianship and for the luxury of having him as the producer of this project.
> Simply put, Jim Stinnett is a tremendous bass playing musician and one of the greatest educators of our time. In fact, it’s because of Jim’s Bass Workouts that I was introduced to Joe Hunt and Dino Govoni. To record with Jim, Joe and Dino is another dream come true for me. To know these men and count them as friends is a privilege I value greatly.
> Not sure who the "One Good Looking Guy" is? All I can say is, The older I get, the better looking I get. Now my face is trying to take over my whole head!" Next?
Chipper’s Dream: This song has an interesting bit of history. Many years ago a good friend of mine and excellent tenor player, Chip McNeil, wrote a song for me featuring the bass. A couple of years back I recalled “Chipper” writing this song. I looked all over my studio for the music. Almost 30 years had passed and I was amazed I could not find the sheet music. : ) I thought maybe I could pull the song from my memory and write it down. NOT. I suspect Chippers Dream does not at all resemble the original tune, but I did gain inspiration for the attempted recall.
Pine: I have always wanted to make music like Antonio Carlos Jobim. This is my attempt to compose a seeet bossa nova. Todd makes my tune sound beautiful.
Goin’ Home: Greasy! That’s a good description of Todd’s cool groove tune. Dino plays a burning solo on these simple changes and form.
My Beloved: Todd’s dedication to his better half, Gay, is a gorgeous ballad. Sensitive and thoughtful is Todd’s rendering of the song. Here you hear Todd’s grips in full bloom.
When Sleep Won’t Come: You know those nights when … This is Todd’s dedication to those times. Joe Hunt plays Bossa like no other drummer I know. His playing is so perfect for this mood. Dino shows how to masterfully phrase a melody with his sensitive touch.
Minorology: A feature for Joe Hunt, (sort of like Cute, but not so cute) Todd and Jim double the melody to combine overtones and create that tuba sound. For you Sam.
Whisper: Dino and Todd I think were determined to see who could out beautify this song. Both guys play this waltz with grace and wonderful melodic solos.
Blues For Hellen: Todd’s kitty cat, “hell on wheels” is the namesake for this flag waving blues. Dino pulled out all the stops!
JIM STINNETT BIO:
Originally from the Northwest, Jim and his family presently reside in New Hampshire. Jim is currently an Associate Professor at Berklee College Of Music where he has taught Bass and Arranging for the past sixteen years.
As a graduate of the New England Conservatory Of Music, Jim is a student of Ed Barker. At North Texas State University, Jim was a member of the prestigious 1:00 Lab Band.
Today Jim Stinnett is a seasoned professional. While performing on the Acoustic or Electric bass, Jim displays a high level of empathy for the music and musicians involved. His ability to make others sound good has made Jim a highly sought after performer.
Jim is also quite active as a producer / arranger. His recent projects attest to his musical diversity.
Jim's Credits include this partial list of performances with: Jean-Pierre Rampal, Phineas Newborn Jr., Tal Farlow, Diane Schure, Ernie Watts, Red Garland, Ernestine Anderson, "Phish", John LaPorta, Roy Hanes, Mark Elf, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Roy Clark, Bob Hope, GodSpell.
Jim has also recorded with: John Laporta, Greg Hopkins, Kenwood Dennard, Bill Pierce, Mick Goodrick, and Steve Rochinski.
Jim's former students include: Mike Gordon, Steve Bailey, Gregg Bissonette, and Jeff Sipe.
TODD JOHNSON BIO:
Todd Johnson is recognized as a pioneer of the six-string electric bass. With his Zon signature model six-string bass, Todd has developed an innovative technique where he plays chord changes and bass lines simultaneously, plus his ability to play "chord melody" gives him an uniquely rich and fuller sound that proves extremely useful in both solo and small combo work.
In his CD review, Cliff Engle of www.bassically.net
notes that "Johnson's sophisticated chord melodies are unrivaled amongst his contemporaries. (He) has demonstrated that his innovative bass playing style is anything but traditional. (His) guitar-like chordal accompaniment style is reminiscent to that of the legendary jazz guitarists including Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, and Ron Eschete. Johnson's guitar-like performance is so convincing that as a listener, if you were not made aware that Johnson was not a jazz guitarist, you would never to able to decipher the difference."
Todd has been an integral member of the critically acclaimed jazz trio of guitarist Ron Eschete since 1991. Then in 2004, Johnson also joined forces with acclaimed bassist and singer Kristin Korb to form The Kristin Korb/Todd Johnson Trio. Johnson has also performed and/or recorded with other such artists as, Mike Stern, Poncho Sanchez, Frank Potenza, Dave Weckl, Scott Henderson, Plas Johnson, Lew Tabackin, Jack Sheldon, Rufus Reid, Mundell Lowe, Michael Manring, Paul Humphrey, and Frank Gambale.
Though Johnson dedicates himself largely to performing and recording, he also teaches courses and workshops in a variety of settings. Since 1991 Johnson has served as a faculty member at such notable schools as Musicians Institute (BIT) 1991-1999, California Institute of the Arts 1998-2004, College of the Canyons 1999-2004 and The Master's College 2002 - present.
Todd is also "in demand" as a clinician having performed clinics, master classes and residencies in such places as University of North Texas, Berklee Conservatory, New Hampshire BassFest, Cornish Institute, South Western Baptist Theological Seminary, BassQuake, Pasadena Bass Day, Mile High Bass Camp, Tokyo High End Bass Show, L.A. Music Academy, The Jazz School, U of Oregon, Spokane Falls C.C, Eastern Washington University, International Society of Bassists Convention, University of Arizona, Olympic College, Academy of Contemporary Music (London), Basscool (Lille, France).
In 2005 Todd released his first instruction DVD "Walking Bass Line Module System - Volume 1 Triad Modules". In 2006 Todd released "Technique Builders" and "Walking Bass Line Module System - Volume 2 Scale Modules. Todd's DVD's have done so well that he recently signed a publishing deal with Alfred Publishing and will have his DVD's and books distributed worldwide beginning in October 2008. Look for "Walking Bass Line Module System - Volume 3Ó to come out in 2009. Todd will also be releasing a book and DVD set of his "chord melody" method with master teacher Jim Stinnett in the spring of 2009 entitled "Fishin' for Grips".
As a seasoned performing artist, Todd Johnson has developed a rich philosophy encompassing his spiritual, educational and achievement-oriented sides. Johnson sees his talent as a "gift from God" to continually enhance and develop. A unique musician with a unique instrument, Johnson strives to stretch the limits, creating new sounds and directions in which the electric bass can go.
"Todd Johnson has found the freedom of extra strings, and as such has developed a distinctive solo voice on his instrument..." writes Jim Fisch. Time and again, Johnson is acknowledged as unique, creative and innovative in his musical talents. He brings more than mastery to the electric bass; Todd Johnson brings a new vision of the instrument that greatly expands its musical horizon.