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George A. Johnson, Jr.: Turquoise Ocean

Johnson is drummer and occasional vocalist on a disc that’s half live and half studio, featuring two sax + rhythm quartets. Not surprisingly, the live tracks stretch out, and interest flags during the long solos. The studio sides are tighter, but Ralph Bowen’s tenor is preferable to his soprano and flute, and the leader’s vocals are more stage than jazz-oriented. At his best, Johnson is a very subtle and interesting drummer, but sometimes he seems preoccupied with directing traffic here.

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