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Randy Johnston: Is It You?

Randy Johnston’s Is It You? (HighNote) showcases another classy, accomplished player with chops to spare. Along with pianist Xavier Davis, drummer Gene Jackson, bassist Dwayne Burno and Johnston groove in early ’60s boogaloo fashion on the ancient folk ballad “Careless Love” and percolate on the uptempo original “The Jump Back” and the title track. Johnston’s playing on the burners is strewn with various Pat Martino-isms (maybe he’s wearing a pair of Pat’s old drawers), though he tends to stake out more of his own territory on lyrical ballads like “Nancy (With the Laughing Face)” and “My Foolish Heart,” or originals like his insistent 3/4 workout “The Jump Through.”

Originally Published