Joe Johnson - The Afterparty


Every smooth jazz saxophonist has his own groove, his unique approach to the music. Under the musical influences of Charlie Parker, Hank Crawford, David Sanborn, Grover Washington, and Kirk Whalum Joe Johnson developed an ambivalent style of smooth jazz, R&B and hip-hop. After Covered Story (2000) and Life Of The Party (2005) is The Afterparty (2008) Joe's third album on the Yasni Labels Group.

The intro The Afterparty features singer Aaron Mason. The groovy song brings you immediately into the right party mood. Doing It Right!!! is the ultimate demand for a better lifestyle but foremost the invitation to fun and dance. Based on a stomping beat and in the sound tradition of Motown Records Joe Johnson is supported by a big brass section perfectly arranged by Lloyd Barry. Some will remember the great song Take Your time of the S.O.S. band and indeed phrases of this classic are worked into Joe's creation.

Whatever (You Wanna Do) calls into mind the good old time of Funk à la Rose Royce and S.O.S. Band. I love this retro sound, especially the funky guitar and the brilliant horn support. On Happy Hour Joe gives the micro to the turntable scratchers Donte "DJ MeccaDon" Atkinson and DJ Victor Chatman. The vicious sound of the turntables is interfering the solid horn harmonies.

Guess Who Loves You More starts as a lovely ballade. A nice surprise is the homage to Earth, Wind & Fire in the second part of the tune. The only cover on this album is Alright. Originally composed by Rex Rideout and L. Young for Ledisi's album Lost & Found (2007) Richard Felton perfectly finds the nucleus of this song on his keys and Joe's heartfelt sax gives it a soulful touch.

Featured artist on Steppers Holiday is Rashad "Da Poet". Don't miss his album Talk To The People.  I recently reviewed Denny Jiosa's album Dreams Like This (2008). Now you have the opportunity to listen to his signature guitar sound on the contemplative ballade Slow Jam.

After a string crescendo Smooth Ms DJ brings some relaxed tones to your ear. Find Myself in You reveals the possibilities of today's overdub recordings. Joe performs the main melodies and also the solo in a brilliant way. On the contemplative ballade Free Yourself Joe showcases the finesse of sensible interpretation reaching on Femminity another culmination.

The album closes with the Outro of The Afterparty. A fantastic mélange of synth sound, flute and vocals.

Joe Johnson's new album The Afterparty is an enrichment for your collection. An album for many opportunites, for hours of recreation and for the party time.



Title: The Afterparty
Artist: Joe Johnson
Year: 2008
Length: 1:05:38
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Yasny Labels Group


01 The Afterparty-Intro [1:34]
02 Doing it Right!!! [5:46]
03 Whatever [5:58]
04 Happy Hour [6:43]
05 Guess Who Loves You More [6:34]
06 Alright [5:28]
07 Steppers Holiday [5:07]
08 Slow Jam [5:30]
09 Smooth Ms DJ [5:37]
10 Find Myself in You [4:51]
11 Free Yourself [5:21]
12 Femminity [4:39]
13 The Afterparty-Outro [2:30]