MP3 David Johnson - Soothing Traveler
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11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Smooth Jazz, URBAN/R&B: Contemporary urban
David, a jazz guitarist, arranger and composer, has been a part of Cleveland, Ohio's Jazz community for decades. He was influenced by music at a very young age. As a boy, he loved to listen to his parents, both members of local gospel groups, sing gospel songs for Sunday services. David first picked up the guitar at age seven. By age nine, he had already become a professional musician. He played his first professional gig at the former Majestic Hotel in Cleveland at the age of 12. David stayed with the guitar until he was 14. At the time, Cleveland had very few black electric bass players so he switched. This move later landed him the job as the O'Jays' bass player in the 60's. Those times were his most memorable because he enjoyed traveling around the country with the group. David has appeared on a few of the O'Jays' early albums such as "Soul Sounds" and "Comin' Through" on the Minit and Imperial labels. In the late 60's, he decided to pursue his love for jazz music. He first started out as the bass player for the organist and band leader, Jack McDuff. Later, he joined Roy Ayers as a member of Ubiquity in the early 70's. He was the bass player on Roy Ayers' album, "Virgo Red".
His experiences also includes playing bass guitar for Stevie Wonder, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Marvin Gaye, Dionne Warwick, Joe Williams, Betty Carter, Dakota Staton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jackie Wilson, Louie Belson, The Platters, Johnny Carson's Doc Severinsen Band, and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. He also appeared on the Gospel album, "God Is Knocking" by Jimmie Bell as lead guitar. He has entertained at venues such as Radio City Hall, Carnegie Hall, Village VanGuard and Town Hall in New York.
David's picture and biography appeared in a book written by Cleveland's writer, Greg L. Reese and photographer, Rodney L. Brown. The book is called "Jazzkeepers: A Pictorial Tribute and Memoir", and it honors jazz musicians who have made contributions to Cleveland's jazz.
Throughout the years, David has taken all comers, working with a wide variety of musicians, although the music business, he admits, isn't always the easiest. As David would say, "God gave me the gift to play. I don't want to turn God down, so I have to have the strength to keep going."
Even though David has been influenced by many great Jazz musicians such as John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, his musical style is similar to Wes Montgomery, who played Jazz guitar with his thumb rather than a pick and his use of chords and octaves, in addition, David integrates the components of Soul Jazz, R&B and Blues into many of his recordings, influences he acquired from his years working with Roy Ayers, Joe Williams, Betty Carter and the O'Jays.
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