Album Review: Alphonso Johnson’s “Yesterday’s Dreams”

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Hardly known, and often overlooked, Alphonso Johnson was an electric bass player of the highest order in the 70s. He has played alongside some jazz music’s greats, including, Horace Silver, Woody Herman, Chuck Mangione, and Chet Baker. His popularity rose to its heights during the late 70’s had was able to record solo albums while simultaneously playing Weather Report.

“Yesterday’s Dream” epitomizes Alphoso Johnson’s expertise in jazz fusion and funk.  While the album, as a whole, is average, passages do reveal why Alphonso Johnson’s playing ability in those genres was at the time, and currently, in such high demand.

The album is mostly instrumental.   Though there are some notable features and musicians on the album (i.e. Sheila E, Philip Bailey, Mark Jordan, and Grover Washington Jr.), the songwriting doesn’t live up to Alphonso’s, or his sidemen’s, talent.  It’s a shame too, because with all the talent on the album, I wish I could remember something to hum other than just the introductory bass line riff at the start of “Balls To The Wall”.

“Yesterday’s Dream” is an interesting listen, but I’d rather save my money and buy another Victor Wooten album.

Below is the track and ratings with my video clips of the songs I enjoyed the most.

1. “Loves The Way I Fell’ Bout Cha”-***

2. “As Little as You”- **** 

3. “Scapegoat”- ***

4. “Show Us The Way”- ***

5. “Balls to the Wall”- **** 

6. “Tales of Barcelona”- ***

7. “Flight to Hampstead Heath”- ***

8. “One to One”- **** 

 

Album rating: ***.

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