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03_saturday_matineeSaturday Matinee
Michael Louis Johnson; The Red Rhythm
Urban Meadow um2010001 (www.urbanmeadow.ca)

Every Saturday afternoon in a tiny casual bar located at Dundas St. W. and Ossington in the Queen West area of Downtown Toronto Red Rhythm recreate jazz standards from the swing era and originals composed by leader Michael Louis Johnson. This recording captures the atmosphere of these sessions - nothing earth shattering and a strong emphasis on entertainment. Leader Johnson has an enthusiasm that largely compensates for what has to be described as a limited technique on trumpet. He brings the same zeal to his vocals which are featured on every track.

The solo department is without doubt in the hands of guitarist Roberto Rosenman and bassist Terry Wilkins with rhythm guitarist Patrick Gregory giving solid support. There are also guest appearances by Bob Stevenson on clarinet and Chris Bezant on guitar which add in no small measure to the quality of the recording.

Entertaining is the key word when describing Johnson's approach to his craft - The Hobo Knows being a prime example. The second half of the CD in particular demonstrates just why the group is so popular with its small but loyal following.

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Author: Jim Galloway
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