VARIOUS ARTISTS / Lament Mixtape

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“Lament” is an original jazz composition by trombonist/composer J.J. Johnson. He first recorded “Lament” in 1954 on a session with fellow trombonist Kai Winding and it has been a jazz standard ever since that first album.

James Louis Johnson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 22, 1924 and died February 4, 2001. He is enshrined in jazz lore as the pioneer of bebop on his chosen instrument, the slide trombone. But after spending 17 years concentrating on composing for movies and television, Johnson might easily also be categorized as a composer with a long list of credits including the movies Across 110th Street, Cleopatra Jones, and Willie Dynamite, in addition to popular TV series such as Starsky & Hutch and The Six Million Dollar Man.

For now we focus on one composition, a beautiful ballad that sounds elegiac but not morose.  The twelve versions on this Mixtape cover a range of moods including a beautifully sung interpretation by Mark Murphy. Perhaps the best know version is the Gil Evans arranged Miles Davis take from Miles Ahead. What is evident as one winds one’s way through these diverse recordings is that we all have a person or event that is sorely missed, something or more likely someone whose loss we dearly and deeply feel.

Consider these songs, paeans for loves lost, people whom we vividly see when we close our eyes and allow our minds to hurdle back to earlier times. In many, many ways this is solitude sounds—music for remembering.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

Lament Mixtape Playlist

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01 Relaxed Piano Moods – Hazel Scott

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02 Immersion – Jacques Schwarz-Bart

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03 Invocation for Pepper – Alex Harding

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04 Crossroads - Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band

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05 Songs for a New Century – Jessica Williams

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06 Jackson, Johnson, Brown & Company – Milt Jackson,  J. J. Johnson and Ray Brown

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07 Para Todos – Poncho Sanchez

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08  J.J. - The Music Of J.J. Johnson - Ron Kischuk & The Masters Of Music Trombones

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09 Miles Ahead – Miles Davis

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10 Laid Back – Kenny Burrell

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11 Song For The Geese – Mark Murphy

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12 Tootie's Tempo – Tete Montoliu

This entry was posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 5:12 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “VARIOUS ARTISTS / Lament Mixtape”

Rick Says:
April 11th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I’ve been studying this toon to play on the guitar, so it’s a great coincidence that you’re providing this here today. Many thanks.

Gregory Ford Says:
April 19th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I had never heard of this song before seeing this post. Listening to it feels like falling down one of Alice’s rabbit holes. I can’t help thinking “How long has this been going on?” and wondering “What else have I missed?”

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