Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Release: Clarence Johnson III “Watch Him Work”

Johnson’s previous recordings focused on straight-ahead jazz. “Watch Him Work” favors jazz fusion and smooth jazz, with Johnson blowing both tenor and soprano saxophones on mostly instrumental, mostly original compositions. “This is the other side of my musical personality that has always been there, bubbling up,” he said. “I finally got a chance to explore it.”

“The direction of the music exhibits the things that I’ve gone through, the things that have made me mature and grow up,” he said. “At 22, you’re one way. When you’re in your late 30s, you’re a seasoned veteran, looking at things from a mature perspective. I think all of that is reflected in the music and the life choices that I’ve made.”

“On the homefront, New Orleans saxophonist Clarence Johnson III has become a forceful bandleader and really took charge during his Sunday afternoon (New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival) set. Clarence also displayed his power as a vocalist, singing and chanting during part of his new suite, John 14:6.” It was a surprisingly electric set……….Yet while the band was plugged in, it never failed to swing….” Gambit Magazine (Geraldine Wycoffe-now at Offbeat Magazine)
Artist: Clarence Johnson III
Title: Watc h Him Work
Label: Like Fat her Like Son Music
UPC Code: 884501951975
Release Date: November 5, 2013
CLARENCE JOHNSON III-Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Background
Vocals Track 4 & 7, Tambourine Track 6
Mike Esneault: Sound design-All Tracks except #9, Orchestration-
Track 10, David Ellington: Tracks 9 & 10, Tyrone Jackson: Track 5
Chris Severin: Tracks 3, 6, &8, Donald Ramsey: Tracks 2, 4, & 5, Moffet Morris: Tracks 9 & 10, Maurius Tilton Track 1
Henry Conery III Tracks 1, 5, 9, & 10, Jamison Ross: Tracks 3, 6, & 8, John Jones Tracks 2, & 4
Steve Masakowski: Tracks 2, 5, 7, & 10, Bill Solley: Tracks 3, 4, & 8
Bobby Campo-Trumpets/Flugal: Tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, William “B.J.” McGibney-Trombone Tracks 2 & 8, Jeff Albert-Trombone: Tracks 1, & 5

Track listing, track times and composer:
1. Watch Him Work (4:17)
2. MAMMA’S PRAYER (4:47)
3. Like Father Like Son (5:18)
4. Cornerstone (6:08)
5. Joy (4:52)
6. Grazin’ In The Grass (3:51) (Philemon Hou-Arr Clarence Johnson III)
7. The Way You Look Tonight (5:39) (Fields/Kern Arr Clarence Johnson III)
8. Brian’s Journey (4:46)
9. Struttin’ (4:19)
10. Beyond Words (5:09)

CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher 
CLARENCE JOHNSON III/Watch Him Work:  Now in his late 30s, the Nawlins sax ace is changing course to be more in line with what he feels.  Going for more fusion and smooth jazz, he’s right in the pocket.  His originals cook and his take on “Grazin in the Grass” gives it the zest Grover Washington would have had he not turned his attention to “Soulful Strut”.  Playing for his own account rather than a record company’s, Johnson gets to push the buttons he wants to and he hits them with just the right amount of torque each time.  Fun stuff that goes the distance with loads of good vibes for all.
By Grady Harp
First some words from the artist: `The direction of the music exhibits the things that I've gone through, the things that have made me mature and grow up. At 22, you're one way. When you're in your late 30s, you're a seasoned veteran, looking at things from a mature perspective. I think all of that is reflected in the music and the life choices that I've made." He named his record company, as well as a track on the new record, "Like Father Like Son." "It's a tribute to the way my dad raised me in Godly instruction, and the way I'm trying to do the same thing with my son. Looking at my father, the way he carried himself with such dignity and class, I learned how to be a man. The "Him" of the "Watch Him Work" title track is a reflection of Johnson's deep-seated, non-denominational Christianity. "That's exactly what this record represents. The `h' will always be capitalized to signify that I'm talking about God. No matter how tough things become, just offer it up in prayer. Once you let God deal with it, just step back and watch Him work."

Known for his fierce and often sultry saxophone sound and astounding virtuosity, New Orleanean Clarence Johnson III enjoys a successful career as a recording and performing artist, an educator, and also appears in films and television. Currently, Clarence is preparing for the upcoming release of his latest recording, "Watch Him Work", his first release in nearly 15 years. The new original material, which features himself and his latest creation, Cornerstone, can best be described as a fresh take on jazz fusion, which is reminiscent of the compositional styles of Stanley Clarke, George Duke, the Brecker Bros., and the Yellow Jackets.

After too long a recorded absence, Clarence Johnson III is back, even better, so Watch Him Work.

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