Norman Johnson

Press/EPK
Photo credits: Harrison Judd

With over 20 recording as a sideman with the likes of Bill Mays, Harvie S., and Steve Gadd, along with performances with Dave Brubeck, Phil Wilson, Jerry Bergonzi, guitarist Norman Johnson earned his chops among some of the very best. He learned quickly that music was a lot like love. No matter how much time you think you have left, you have to “Get It While You Can.”
Johnson’s original idea for “Get It While You Can” (his sophomore release) was to have fun combining favorites with his own compositions, while featuring songs by musicians that he genuinely enjoyed. The result is a simmering sauce of conversations between musicians that grooves.

Classics like That's The Way Of The World, Got To Get You Into My Life, and Until You Come Back To Me, take on a new life with Johnson's contemporary jazz treatment, all the time keeping true to the essence of the songs. You'll recognize them, but they will feel fresh. The title cut "Get It While You Can" is a perfect example of groove and fun. With a popping horn section it is the statement feel for the cd. Danza Dance is a latin infused gem enhanced by Ali Ryerson on flute. Grayson Hugh's mysterious "Saudade" is a soundscape that wraps his superb vocals with Johnson's guitar. Killer Jane is a humorous takeoff on Benny Golson's Killer Joe. It features a swinging funky feel and Steve Davis on trombone.

The list of musicians include,
Grayson Hugh-piano and vocals, Ali Ryerson-flute, Steve Davis-trombone, Arti Dixson and Anthony Cusano-drums, Ken Fischer, Alex Nakhimovsky, and Matt DeChamplain-piano, Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng, Eric Galm, and Ed Fast-percussion, Chris Herbert-sax and flute, Ricky Alfonso-trumpet. This is instrumental music that will make you sing. Smooth, warm sounds, infectious beats, and great compositions. The title, Get It While You Can, says it all.

  • Press Quotes

    Robert Cunningham, Lexington Jazz Music Examiner
    Listening to the newest release from Norman Johnson ‘Get it While You Can,’ a new genre would properly classify this collection. For consideration, adding the genre ‘soothe-smooth jazz’ for any collection that transcends beyond and elevates above the capacity of smooth jazz. This genre will only be designated to collections that effectively evaporate all the worries of the day while soothing frayed nerves with smooth peaceful thoughts of tranquility; thus the term ‘Soothe-smooth jazz,’ or perhaps simply ‘soothe jazz.’
    Some clever interpretations to well –known songs from
    Earth Wind and Fire ‘That’s the Way of the World,’ and ‘Got to Get You into My Life,’ as well as, Aretha Franklin ‘Until You Come Back to Me,’ provide fun new versions to these familiar songs. A few Latin songs anchor this collection and provide a well-rounded cornucopia of musical selections. Pay particular attention to song ‘Nagoya Nights.’ This song epitomizes the concept of ‘soothe jazz.’
  • Ed Tankus, Blue Plate Radio,
    I have listened to this CD several times. Norman Johnson has successfully made some very familiar songs his own and avoided the cookie-cutter approach to recording some old favorites. As one who listens to thousands of tracks on a regular basis, "Get It While You Can" is fresh and exciting from beginning to end. Kudos, too, to Johnson for using gifted musicians known for their straight-ahead chops in an original smooth-jazz way. " Get It While You Can" and get it while it's HOT!
  • Abyssjazz.com
    There is a joyous vibe flowing through Get It While You Can that resonated within me. Perhaps it’s the interplay of his music, their music, and the guitar; can’t say for sure. What I can say with certainty is that the CD works for me. And Norman says, “Music is a lot like love; no matter how much time you think you have left, you have to Get It While You Can” … Go. Go on. Go get it.
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