Darren Johnston

Life in Time

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Origin Records
UPC: 0805558283925
Catnr: ORIGIN 82839
Release date: 01 July 2022
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Origin Records
Catalogue number
ORIGIN 82839
Release date
01 July 2022

About the album

Brooklyn-based trumpeter Darren Johnston has been involved with several highly creative music scenes over the last two decades, which has included recording duo albums with Fred Frith, and projects with the larger ensembles of Marcus Shelby or Larry Ochs and the OrkestRova. For Life in Time, Johnston traveled to Chicago during a lull in the pandemic to continue an artistic relationship he's developed over the last several years with saxophonist Geof Bradfield, bassist Clark Sommers, and drummer Dana Hall. The Chicago trio's long history has resulted in an empath-level rapport, obvious through this set of ten originals by Johnston & Bradfield. From the Ornette-esque, rollicking "Little Gold Fish," to the stately melody of "Lost and Found," layered over a roiling rubato undercurrent, the quartet is patient, attentive, and inspired, unraveling a set that rewards deep and repeated listenings.
Der in Brooklyn lebende Trompeter Darren Johnston war in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten an mehreren äußerst kreativen Musikszenen beteiligt, darunter Duo-Alben mit Fred Frith und Projekte mit den größeren Ensembles von Marcus Shelby oder Larry Ochs und dem OrkestRova. Für Life in Time reiste Johnston während einer Pandemie-Pause nach Chicago, um eine künstlerische Beziehung fortzusetzen, die er in den letzten Jahren mit dem Saxophonisten Geof Bradfield, dem Bassisten Clark Sommers und dem Schlagzeuger Dana Hall entwickelt hat. Die lange Geschichte des Trios aus Chicago hat zu einer einfühlsamen Beziehung geführt, die in diesem Set mit zehn Eigenkompositionen von Johnston und Bradfield deutlich wird. Vom Ornette-esken, ausgelassenen "Little Gold Fish" bis zur imposanten Melodie von "Lost and Found", die sich über eine aufgewühlte Rubato-Unterströmung legt, ist das Quartett geduldig, aufmerksam und inspiriert und entwirrt ein Set, das tiefes und wiederholtes Zuhören belohnt.


Canada-born trumpeter/composer/educator Darren Johnston's interests rotate primarily between performing all styles of jazz, purely improvised music, new music, and various other traditional musics, especially that of the Balkans, Greece, and Macedonia. He is especially drawn to music that tends to defy categorization, and is also generally open to further suggestions.

After twenty one years in the Bay Area, Johnston recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY in 2019. In the time since moving there, he has played and/or recorded withChes Smith, Dayna Stephens, Carmen Staaf, Michael Formanek, Tony Malaby, Michael Attias, Slavic Soul Party!, Raya Brass Band, The Peter Hess Quartet, Michael Vatcher, and many more.

As a composer he has written for ensembles ranging from small jazz groups, to big-bands, brass bands, string quartets, choirs, rock bands, and countless combinations thereof. He has been commissioned to write for dance, dance film, theater, video games, and by museums such as San Francisco's De Young Museum, and other presenting organizations such as the Yerba Buena Garden Festival, and Intersection For The Arts.

He has performed and/or recorded with luminaries such as Marshall Allen, Gerald Cleaver, Fred Frith, ROVA Sax Quartet, Ben Goldberg, Allison Miller, Mark Dresser, Myra Melford, Marcus Shelby, Pete Escovedo, Erik Jekabson's "Electric Squeezebox Orchestra," and many others, across the USA and around the world.

As a bandleader, past projects include The United Brassworkers Front, The Nice Guy Trio, The Darren Johnston Quintet, The Pipes, Broken Shadows Family Band, Trans-Global People's Chorus, and innumerable one-offs. Current projects include the Chicago-based Life In Time, featuring Geof Bradfield, Clark Sommers, and Dana Hall, a NYC-based trio, Breathing Room, featuring Carmen Staaf, and Michael Formanek, and the NYC-based Wild Awake quintet, featuring Dayna Stephens, Jacob Sacks, Sean Conly, and Ches Smith. An all-Canadian collective quartet, temporarily put on hold by the pandemic, is now preparing to pick up where it left off, featuring Anna Webber, Michael Bates, and Toronto-based Nick Fraser.

As an educator Johnston has taught at Stanford Jazz Workshop's summer program and throughout the year in their "Giant Steps" program, Jazz Camp West, The Jazzschool, and as an adjunct at UC Berkeley. As a guest lecturer he has been invited to present master classes on improvisation, "a holistic approach to music theory", and "compositional approaches to daily practice," at institutions such as Sonoma State University, Cal Arts, and others.


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