CD review: J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding – Trombones For Two: The Classic Collaborations 1953-56 – 2021: Video, CD cover

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J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding were among the leading innovators and primary exponents of the trombone in modern jazz, exploring the instrument’s potential in the challenging musical era following the emergence of bebop in the 1940s, where trumpet and saxophone were more suited to the medium’s rapid tempos and demand for technical mastery.

Having established their reputations as soloists, they came together in 1953 for the first time to collaborate on a series of projects in different group environments. This 77-track 4-CD set features most of the titles they recorded together during this period before they went their separate ways again. It includes material from the “Live at Putnam Central Club” performances plus tracks from the albums “Reflections” on Savoy, “An Afternoon At Birdland” on X, “Jay & Kai” on Prestige, “K + J.J.” on Bethlehem, and “Trombone For Two”, “Jai & Kai Plus 6”, and “Jai & Kai At Newport” on Columbia, as well as titles with Quincy Jones’ Orchestra. Among the musicians with whom they perform in the various line-ups are John Lewis, Charles Mingus, Kenny Clarke, Dick Katz, Quincy Jones, Lucky Thompson, Paul Chambers, Milt Hinton, Shadow Wilson, Hank Jones, Ray Brown and others. It makes for fascinating and enlightening listening as they present both familiar and original jazz repertoire in a variety of unusual musical settings, which include their noted trombone octet, and it’s an entertaining showcase for two of the most renowned jazz trombonists of their era.

CD1

01. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Benny Green, Willie Dennis – Move
02. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Benny Green, Willie Dennis – Yesterdays
03. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Benny Green, Willie Dennis – Trombosphere
04. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Benny Green, Willie Dennis – Chazzanova
05. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Benny Green, Willie Dennis – Kai’s day
06. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Conversation (The Shrike)
07. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Blues For Trombones
08. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – What Is This Thing Called Love?
09. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Lament
10. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – The Major
11. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Bernie’s Tune
12. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Reflections
13. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Co-Op
14. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Blues In Twos
15. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Lullaby Of Birdland
16. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Cornerstone

CD2

01. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Bone Of Contention
02. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Birdland Festival
03. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Funnybone
04. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Vista
05. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Hip Bones
06. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Riviera
07. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Dinner For One, Please James
08. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Wind Bag
09. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – We’ll Be Together Again
10. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Don’t Argue
11. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – How Long Has This Been Going On?
12. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Bags’ Groove
13. Quincy Jones, His Band – You’re Crying
14. Quincy Jones, His Band – Funk Junction
15. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Thou Swell
16. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – It’s All Right With Me
17. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Lope City
18. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Stolen Bass
19. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Out Of This World

CD3

01. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Gong Rock
02. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Yes Sir! That’s My Baby
03. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Mad About The Boy
04. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Lover
05. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – That’s How I Feel About You
06. Quincy Jones, The All Stars – Grasshopper
07. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Give Me The Simple Life
08. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – This Can’t Be Love
09. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Trombone For Two
10. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – We Two
11. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Let’s Get Away From It All
12. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Turnabout
13. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – It’s Sand, Man
14. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Close As Pages In A Book
15. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – The Whiffenpoof Song
16. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Goodbye
17. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
18. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Caribe
19. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe
20. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – The Song Is You

CD4

01. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
02. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – No Moon At All
03. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – You’re My Thrill
04. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – Jeanne
05. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – The Surrey With The Fringe On Top
06. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – You Don’t Know What Love Is
07. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – Piece For Two Tromboniums
08. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – Rise ‘N’ Shine
09. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – The Continental
10. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – A Night In Tunisia
11. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – All At Once You Love Her
12. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – The Peanut Vendor
13. Jay and Kai Trombone Octet – Four Plus Four
14. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Lover Come Back To Me
15. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – True Blue Tromboniums
16. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – NWPT
17. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Too Close For Comfort
18. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – ‘S Wonderful
19. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Tromboniums In Motion
20. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – How High The Moon
21. J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – Violets For Your Furs

Johnson, J.J. / Winding, Kai: Trombones For Two: The Classic Collabora –  Tower Records

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