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A word from the publisher and composer....

These artist copies are provided free of charge to you in the hopes of promoting same. It seems that not too many people are writing tunes with the old standards and quality that invites fine players with with imagination to explore new ideas! As a pianist/composer, it is my intention to leap into the 21st century with new tunes and ideas, and I hope to continue where composers like Gershwin, Porter, Arlen, and others left off! It seems that the music has become stagnant because there are no more of the great composers of the 20th century! Most have died, stopped writing, and because we have lost a generation of young people to budget cuts in music education in the schools where music is taught; there has been a void or vacuum.

Where are our next generation of Duke Ellingtons going to come from? Young people are being exposed to crap on the radio! Why? Because it makes money and disregards traditional standards of excellence! Recently, I went into a high school in New York City and asked the simple question of: who was Louis Armstrong? I also asked who was Duke Ellington? The response I got was shocking! Nobody knew, or ever heard of 'em! However, when I mentioned Ice Tea, or Two Live Crew and Biggie Smalls, everyone knew or heard of 'em! Our young people are being exposed to what I call money making crap, and gone are the days of high standards, excellence, rhyme, strong melody, etc.

If jazz is to keep alive, new tunes must be written to keep new people interested, not rehash the old and go backwards! A lot of young people don't even read music! It is up to the older generation, including myself, and colleagues to transfer the knowledge to a new generation of people.

I do not mean to imply that my tunes will correct the problem, but it is a step in the right direction to do something, as a pianist and composer to continue with excellence and contribute to the 21st century some fine music that is not influenced by the big record companies, special interest, monopolistic slime who become a parasite off of our young, poorly educated society!

I hope you get the chance to play through these tunes. If you are not personally interested, please pass them on to a friend who will appreciate them. I'd love to hear any comments you have, good or bad, but constructive. Please feel free to call or write me anytime.

Sincerely,

Stuart H. Tresser, composer/publisher
Tresser Music - BMI

Stuart H. Tresser
Jazzbone Records
90 East 46th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11203-1815

Commentary

Norman Granz, producer of Jazz at the Philharmonic, died on Thursday, November 22nd, 2001 at his home in Geneva. Mr. Granz was responsible for getting the best jazz musicians and players together, and promoting jazz by bringing it to a higher level, while at the same time making a stand against bigotry and racism. Such jazz greats as Oscar E. Peterson, Bud Powell, Art Tatum, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday were included in JATP, better known as Jazz at the Philharmonic.

In this troubled world we need someone like Norman Granz to continue to promote jazz, and introduce new tunes and music to the jazz world. It is up to every jazz musician, artist, and vocalist to do their part in transferring this great music called jazz to the next generation. It has been my goal as a jazz musician, pianist and composer to do just that - promote jazz and live music. That is one of the reasons I caused this website to be created, and used as a platform to bring new and original music to any jazz musician and vocalist free! You can download a page at the time of some of the tunes I've written free on this website! Can you get the same deal any place else on the web? I don't think so!

I am sincerely saddened by the loss of a truly great person and beacon in jazz, the great Norman Granz.

NORMAN GRANZ
AUGUST 6, 1918 - NOVEMBER 22, 2001

"He was to Jazz what Einstein was to Physics!"

Stuart H. Tresser, CEO Jazzbone Records


Gwen Cleveland

Gwen Cleveland

January 10th, 1929 - June 7th, 2002. A vocalist who was one of the favorite performers at Charmichael's in Jamaica, NY, she had recently retired and was living in the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, NJ. She will be missed by all who knew her.


Ray Alexander
Ray Alexander

February 7th, 1925 - June 8th, 2002. A great jazz vibist, teacher, and wonderful person (see our links page). He is survived by his son, Russel Alexander, and his wife.

Ray Brown

Ray Brown

October 13, 1926 - July 2, 2002. A Grammy award-winning jazz bassist who played with Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, among others, and was married for a time to Ella Fitzgerald.

Bobby Forrester

Bobby Forrester

November 27, 1947 - November 23, 2002 An organist who played with a variety of well known artists, and was equally at home playing blues and jazz. He accompanied Ruth Brown and Irene Reid. Photo by Stuart Tresser - Tresser Printing Office Archives

Bross Townsend
Bross Townsend

Died at age 70 on May 12, 2003. Mr.Townsend played with many major jazz names in the course of a long career as a pianist and accompanist. Among the famous instrumentalists he performed with were Woody Herman, Erskine Hawkins, John Coltrane, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Charles Mingus, and Milt Jackson. Some of the singers included Dinah Washington, Diana Ross, Little Jimmy Scott, Jimmy Reed, and Dakota Staton. He is survived by his wife Hope, daughters Allegra and Mona, son Bross III, and five grandchildren.

Walter Perkins
Walter Perkins

February 10th, 1932 - February 14th, 2004 A world  renowned jazz drummer, he first became known in the 1950s, when he was located in Chicago.  There, he formed the group MJT+III.   He went on to perform and record with the likes of  Ahmad Jamal, Sonny Rollins, Carmen McRae, Art Farmer, Teddy Wilson, and George Shearing, to mention only a few of the jazz greats he has been associated with.

Gil Coggins

Gil "Gilly" Coggins

August 23rd, 1924 - February 15th, 2004 A veteran jazz pianist who performed and recorded with such jazz notables as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean and Sonny Rollins. A well respected side man for many years, he recently released his own CD, Better Late Than Never.

Tony Mottola
Tony Mottola

April 18th, 1918 - August 10th, 2004 A guitarist who played with Frank Sinatra and on NBC's The Tonight Show. He also recorded with Johnny Mathis and performed with Frank Sinatra at the White House for President Reagan. Here is Tony Mottola with Hank at the Guitar Show at Five Towns College, on Long Island on 5/16/98.

Enos Payne

Enos Payne

Jazz pianist Enos Payne died on Saturday, February 5th, 2005. He was an instructor at the Jazzmobile, and has helped many vocalists develop their craft. He was an instructor and director of Jazz at the Brooklyn Conservatory and has performed with such jazz greats as Billy Mitchell, Jimmy Heath and the Jazzmobile All-Stars Big band.

Bernie Thompson
Bernie Thompson

March 9th, 1933 - July 18th, 2005. A jazz organist, pianist, and vibe player, Bernie performed in most of the well-known jazz venues of New York City. He appeared in groups ranging from trio to big band, and he did a ten year stint as the keyboard player for Sir Charles Hughes and his All-Stars. He has accompanied many noted singers, including Sarah Vaughn and Johnny Hartman.

Ray McKinley
Ray McKinley

May 17th, 1933 to January 25th, 2006. A noted jazz keyboard player and vibe player, Ray McKinley was also the long time conductor of the New York City Housing Authority Orchestra. He recorded with such luminaries as Irving Burgie (Lord Burgess), Lennie Tristano, and Napoleon Revels-Bey.

Jazzbone
Jazzbone

October 5th, 1992 - October 15th, 2006. Beloved pet and mascot of the record company. He was brutally attacked and killed by an unleashed larger dog. Extensively covered by the local newspaper: Canarsie Courier article

Ray McKinley
Morris Edwards

June 10th, 1925 - May 27th, 2007. Veteran jazz bass player who for a time played with the Hank Johnson Trio. The list of prominent jazz figures he has performed with is remarkable; among them are Jimmy Witherspoon, Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, and Eddie Hayward.

Kalil Madi
Kalil Madi

December 13, 1921 - May 20, 2007. Jazz drummer Kalil Madi, who worked with Eddie and Vickie Barnes in 1960s, is gone. He was a fine cocktail drummer, and performed with small groups around New York City and upstate at the Pines Hotel, in South Fallsburgh, NY. He was also a fixture at the University of the Streets in New York City.

Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson

August 15th, 1925 - December 23rd, 2007 He was a giant of jazz piano whose virtuoso technique and impeccable sense of swing made him one of the most popular figures in the genre for more than half a century. Astute listeners of Hank Johnson's recordings cannot fail to detect the role Oscar Peterson played as both mentor and inspiration.

Ben Skelton
Ben Skelton

In Loving Memory July 26th, 1924 - February 23rd, 2009 85 Years. Shown here at his birthday party on 7/18/99 with Hank and Frank Manzella (former head of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission). He was a sparring partner of Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. He later went on to become the manager of the Village Door Supper Club in Queens, where Hank often performed.

Frank Metis

August 8, 1925 - March 6, 2010. Musician, composer and music publication arranger. He published arrangements of the music of such notable people as Bruce Springsteen, George Shearing, Paul Simon, Dave Brubeck, Stephen Sondheim, Barry Manilow, Tori Amos, Kander & Ebb, John Williams, Tom Lehrer and Stuart Tresser. He was also the co-writer of the 1959 hit, "The Enchanted Sea."


Mike Ridley
Mike Ridley

April 4th, 1939 - May 8th, 2011 A passionate performer and educator, he performed with many of the great rhythm and blues aritsts such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. His jazz credits include Archie Shepp, Barry Harris, and Lionel Hampton. He ws a member of the Cotton Club house band for many years.

Stanley Wright
Stanley Wright

October 24th, 1949 - found murdered May 11, 2011 Also known as Suleiman-Hakim Wright, he was the father of movie actress N'Bushe Wright. A jazz bassist and painist, Wright played several gigs at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He performed at the Williamsburg Music Center until diabetes forced him to stop. Wright once taught music at a Brooklyn middle school and continued as a beloved music teacher who taught piano to neighborhood kids for as little as $10 a lesson -- often for free.

Victoria Missick
Victoria Missick Clemmons

On Thursday, September 19th, 2013 Victoria Missick died after a long illness. She was the vocalist in Hank's first jazz quartet when they both attended George W. Wingate High School. The group consisted of Peter Macado on bass, Kirby Collins, drums and Hank on piano. The group won the talent show at Wingate HS in 1967 and the $25 savings bond prize. Victoria had a beautiful voice and could be compared to Sarah Vaughn. Victoria died from colon cancer and will be missed by the many lives she touched.

Clark Terry
Clark Terry

December 14, 1920 -- February 21, 2015 Famous jazz trumpeter who often appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His hit song "Mumbles" was inspired by his "Stump the Band" antics on the show. He also pioneered the use of the flugelhorn in jazz. Hank had performed with him at the Bayside Yacht Club back in the 70s. The photo was given to Hank by the late Sonny Meyerowitz, who owned Sonny's Jazz Club.

Cornell McKnight
Cornell McKnight

March 3rd, 1952 -- July 4th, 2015 In Hank's own words, "It is with great sorrow I lost a friend, musician, recording engineer who recorded the trio live at the now defunct Lenox Lounge. Cornell McKnight was a very talented person well educated and will be missed by all of the lives he touched."


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