Desert Island Jazz
Earl R. Johnson jr (2013)

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Pianist-composer Earl R. Johnson jr has captivated audiences on five continents.

After growing up in York, Pennsylvania, Earl attended Penn State for a while (where he played both football and basketball), before transfering to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he got a degree in film scoring.

But, a month after graduation and before Earl could do any film scoring, the calls began to come in and musicians started hiring him. First, his ear-training teacher, saxophonist Walter Beasley brought him on to his band. Then he worked with Brian McKnight. Then he became the music director for Najee, and then spent a short time with Wynton Marsalis. Calls came from Gerald Albright, Patti Austin, and Gladys Knight. And then he was the keyboardist with Chaka Khan, touring with her for two years. Whenever would he get to do that film scoring?

Earl has performed for President Barak Obama at the president's request, and also for Nelson Mandela at his 80th-birthday celebration in 1998.

Earl put out his first recording as a leader in 2005, "Juicy", and his latest recording is straight ahead, with saxophonist Teodross Avery, "Inside Myself".
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Eastern Rebellion Eastern Rebellion Bolivia Timeless
# 2 The Three Sounds Introducing the Three Sounds Tenderly Blue Note
# 3 Carmen McRae Sarah--Dedicated to You Misty Novus
# 4 Earl R. Johnson jr Inside Myself The Wonderland First Domain Records
# 5 Marvin Gaye When I'm Alone, I Cry You've Changed Tamla
# 6 Phineas Newborn jr A World of Piano Oleo OJC
# 7 Earl R. Johnson jr Inside Myself XLIV First Domain Records
# 8 Earl R. Johnson jr Inside Myself Tumabois First Domain Records
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