bouncing burr head

.......Industry Reviews

..........These are just a few of the awesome reviews "What It Is" has received.

 

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CD Review: http://www.midwestrecord.com/

.....When Metal Mike Varney is paying attention to a jazz guitarist, it pays to pay attention. Johnson is one of those cats you’ve heard without knowing it since he’s played with everyone from Jack McDuff to Lauryn Hill and has his own signature line of guitars with Hagstrum. A smart fusion picker that knows what it takes to get your attention and keep it, this is a tasty fusion work out that would make the leaders of the genre proud. There’s more here than just a chops on parade date. This will be welcomed by anyone looking for something new and meaty. Hot stuff.

MIDWEST RECORD CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher, ©2008 Midwest Record

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CD Review: http://zzaj.freehostia.com/index.htm

The Burr Johnson Band - >WHAT IT IS: This CD is bound to hit the streets running... I want to say that this is our "first listen" to Burr's smashing guitar-tistry, but I'm sure I'd be in error, since he's played with Spyro Gyra, Ray Charles, B.B. King & a whole host of other "names" in the jazz/funk arena. I can tell you, without qualification, that he is one of the funkiest (& most exciting) players I've listened to in many, MANY years... while his guitar leads will scorch your ears, the crisp & punctual drums from Thierry Arpino & heavy phonk bass from Al Payson will have you itchin' to get up on your feet & MOVE that THANG! You can watch the band perform "Slinky's Big Brother <http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=YNkaGDW1z3E> " or "Ol Factory <http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=g4qaxgZxeqk> " at YouTube by clicking... but for much better sound quality, you've just GOT to get this CD! I'm sure that my impression of this trio was jump-started by the fact that they play all originals, but it's also because they're able to revive a spirit that was prevalent in the early '60's... not just "adventure", but "discovery" & the sense that there IS hope... maybe Obama should use "Ol Factory" (my favorite on the CD - it's funky, but also sophisticated) as backing for his early Presidential speeches from the Oval Orifice! The keyword for this album is clearly "uplifting", & in these hard times, we all need to lift our eyes up towards the hope & promise music like Burr & band offer. This gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as the "PICK" of the year for "funkiest jazz on the planet"... THIS one stays in the .mp3 player forEVER,

<>volkz! Rotcod Zzaj aka Dick Metcalf

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CD Review: http://therunoffgroove.blogspot.com/2008/12/run-off-groove-226.html

By John Book

Burr Johnson is a guitar wizard of the Al DiMeola variety, and he and his band get up in it and deep with What It Is (Lexicon). These guys mix up jazz with rock to create a fierce brew that doesn't let up, while it is a guitar-based album, you will enjoy hearing the musicianship of Thierry Arpino (drums) and Al Payson (bass), and together they are a trio that know each other's musical ways and quirks inside and out, as if they know the hairs on the backs of their hands, yes. In a song such as "Winter" they get smooth and laid back as they help create the scenario described in the title, while in "It Figures" it's a blitzkreig of sound that one finds hard to resist.

Don't resist. Each of them is mindblowing, with Johnson of course paving the way towards axe excellence. For solid jazz, rock, and a pinch of funk ("Slinky"), this is going to be hard to beat.

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CD Review: http://www.jazzreview.com/cd/review-20260.html

By Glenn Astarita

The band is undeniably tight as they occasionally ascend matters into the power-trio realm. But it’s Johnson’s penchant for the dynamic that yields many of the highlights. He launches into hyper-mode on various works while navigating the rhythm section through knotty unison choruses and complex developments. Otherwise, Johnson’s instrumental pieces often feature memorable hooks, so it’s not all about technical fireworks.

The guitarist delves into the funk spectrum yet renders a brisk, Wes Montgomery-like vibe amid ascending jazz-based chord progressions on “Winter.” Then he generates a blitzing progressive-rock groove with loud crunch chords and clear-toned leads during the tuneful piece “Summer Nights.”

Johnson could seemingly conquer the musical world. And it’s no wonder why he’s toured with many of the greats, spanning several years. Overall, there are some exhilarating moments here. Coupled with a solid compositional pen, the artist merges the best of several stylizations or genres into a comprehensive musical statement that should whet the appetites of jazz-fusion and progressive rock advocates. Moreover, he provides more than a few lessons for the aspiring or even seasoned guitarist.

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