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Henry Johnson - The Chicago-born guitarist began playing at age twelve. While spending some formative time in Memphis, he started playing gospel music at age thirteen. By age fourteen, Johnson was playing in R&B groups. Although Johnson's parents brought him up hearing the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Williams, and other artists of that era, it was not until 1967 that Johnson was formally introduced to jazz by hearing guitarist Wes Montgomery. In 1976, he went on the road with jazz organist Jack McDuff and worked with vocalist, Donny Hathaway in 1977. In 1979, Johnson began playing with jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis, and in 1985, jazz legend, Joe Williams added Johnson to his regular group. Johnson's musical roots run deep into gospel, blues, and jazz. His strongest and earliest influences were Kenny Burrell, George Benson, and most significantly, Wes Montgomery. While influenced by these great guitarists, Johnson also cites the music of Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, big bands, and jazz orchestras as integral forces which shaped his style. "You're The One", his recording debut for MCA/Impulse! achieved ..1 status on both the Radio & Records NAC chart, and Contemporary Jazz chart for two months - a rare occurrence for a first recording. This recording also won a five star rating in Downbeat magazine, and was nominated for a Grammy. Johnson's follow-up recordings, "Future Excursions" and "Never Too Much" also reached the top of the charts."New Beginnings", was Johnson's debut recording for the Heads Up International jazz label. "New Beginnings" and "Missing You", his second release for Heads Up International, both reached the top of the charts as well. In addition to his solo recording projects, Johnson has found time to record with the likes of Ramsey Lewis, vocalists, Joe Williams and Vanessa Ruben, and saxophonist Richie Cole among many others. He has performed with Nancy Wilson, Marlena Shaw, Angela Bofil, Dizzy Gillespie, the Boston Pops, Sonny Stitt, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr., Stanley Turrentine, Dr. Billy Taylor, and organist Jimmy Smith, James Moody, David "Fathead" Newman, Terry Gibbs, Bobby Watson, Nicholas Payton, and many other great jazz artists.
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I´d really appreciate it if you could take the time to look at my work and leave your impressions here or in the guestbook on my homepage- http://www.freewebs.com/miartemartagracielabressi- where there are more samples of my digital art works, engravings and sculptures. The web site´s in Spanish but, if you want to read the texts in English, you can access my Livejournal:
Henry....what great chops man! Such classy and sensitive work...well done! Great spacing and`phrasing...such a treat to my old ears...lovely work with your great group too...everyone is listening, and adding to the total musicianship....truly beautiful...a tight and talented group...Well done!...Love to network with you anytime, should you need visual imagery to match your wonderful musical artistry...my best to you...always b
Hi Henry, We met sometime around '77 or '78 at the Sheraton in Columbus, Ohio. I believe you were on the road with Ramsey Lewis or someone. You sat in with our group, (the band leaders name was Carl Sally, a tenor player) and later showed me a bunch of Wes stuff in the room. I only remembered part of it because I was a bit drunk that night and not really with it, to my embarrasment. If it's any consolation, that night led me to quit drinking at work. Anyway, I'm still working and trying to learn, living in Asia for the last 25 years (Taiwan and Singapore). If you're curious you could check my webiste; ricksmithguitar.com I just wanted to thank you for the time and encouragement you gave me all those years ago. Sometimes the effects of kindness or generousity go far beyond the moment! Thanks, Henry
Hello Great one.
Love seeing you kicking it as always.
Haven't seen you since the Gary Indiana days.
John Henry Langley from the Langley 5
Steve Brisker days --How's Billy?
remember the 70's.
Love you as always
Always my favorite Guitarist...