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Reggie Washington: Chasing Rainbows

The bassist lifts up the life and work of late guitarist Jef Lee Johnson

Reggie Washington
Reggie Washington
Jef Lee Johnson

When the guitarist Jef Lee Johnson died from complications related to pneumonia and diabetes in 2013, at age 54, many in the music community mourned the loss of this gifted leader and prolific sideman who’d combined jazz learning with the psychedelic blues of Hendrix.

Reggie Washington decided to channel his own grief. The electric and acoustic bassist, now 53, was a longtime colleague and admirer of Johnson’s and felt that his friend never received the widespread recognition he deserved. For about a year Washington mulled over the idea of recording an album of Johnson’s compositions. He ultimately spent the next year recording Rainbow Shadow: A Tribute to Jef Lee Johnson Vol. 1, released in June on Washington’s own Jammin’colorS label.

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