Rock & Roll Saxophonist:Reviews
Reviewed by Richard Ludmerer (Blueswax Magazine)
Rock & Roll Saxophonist
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And They Called it Rock ‘n’ Roll, (03/22/07)
Johnny Ferreira is a Canadian who just released his newest album, Rock & Roll Saxophonist. His primary musical influences include sax players Illinois Jacquet, Big Jay McNeely, and Joe Huston. Previously Ferreira worked with The Colin James Little Big Band where he was featured in a horn section that included Roomful of Blues alumni and members Greg Piccolo, Doug James, Rich Lataille, Bob Enos, and Carl Querfurth. This is Ferreira's fourth album and on it he has focused on an early Rock 'n' Roll sound. Ferreira states the "Roll" comes from Jump Blues or Swing and it differentiates this music from "Rock."
The songs are all written or co-written by Ferreira except one. He also handles all the production chores. The album rolls relentlessly from start to finish. Opening with a boogie-woogie piano, "Wine Women & Song" takes off when Ferreira sails into his first sax solo, squealing and squawking until Colin James' guitar relieves him. Ferreira, along with sisters Melissa and Cecile Larochelle, is a effective as a backing singer. Ferreira's second solo is slamming and the track ends with the trumpet, trombone, and sax trading phrases.
"Swing That Thing" continues to use the backing singers and they are used effectively on this sonnet. "Dancin' Is Not My Thing" opens with either Cathy St. Germain or Saffron Henderson (both singers are credited on this track) asking, "Can I please have this dance?" The call and response makes for some joyous noise. "If That Ain't Love" is the only song not authored by Ferreira and it comes from the German Blues band BB and The Blues Shacks. Ferreira's sax is blistering here.
"Lady" is a slower ballad and a good one; it gives this set a break from its relentless pace. Ferreira's sax and Graham Guest's Hammond B3 complete this lady's choice, dance-type number. "Let's Rock Tonite" is a Louis Jordan-type romp. "Mean Mr. Senf" is a sax instrumental and Ferreira sounds like Bill Doggett, it's that good! "Nighty Gown" is a sexy song and possibly the album's best lyric with "I don't even watch the Stanley Cup, when you're wearing that nighty gown."
Next is "Creeps" with "always touching/man you give me the creeps." The CD concludes with "Chompin' At The Bit," another instrumental. Rock & Roll Saxophonist wails from start to finish. This is one of 2006's best self-produced efforts yet, check out Johnny Ferreira at http://www.johnnyferreira.com/
Director, The New York Blues & Jazz Society
Reviewed by Mick Rainsford (Blues In Britain Magazine)
If Jimmy Cavallo was one of the pioneers of rock & roll saxophone, then Johnny Ferreira is a disciple and it's future.
Ferreira is a top session player who has toured with the likes of Steve Winwood, the Rolling Stones, Little feat and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and was a featured soloist in Colin James and the Little Big Band but his roots are firmly entrenched in the music of the black jump saxophonists and rock & rollers of the 40s and 50s, as his latest CD testifies.
Ferreira wrote nine of the ten tracks on this set, and it is a tribute to him that they all could have been potentially written in the golden age of the genres he is portraying.
The set opens with the stomping Wine, Women & Song that comes replete with boogie piano, wild snorting sax, chanted backing harmonies and pure rÍnÍr guitar underpinning his suitably growled and strident rock & roll vocals. The slow rocking Swing That Thing features a baying horn section, a feral sax solo, percolating B3 and hip vocals from Ferreira Dancin' Is Not My Thing is a call and response stomper with trashcan drumming underpinning raucous trombone (Hugh Fraser) and sax and we are back to head-banging r’n’r with If That Ain't Love with its wildly riffing horn charts.
The tempo is relaxed for the rock & roll ballad Lady but this is a brief respite as Let's Rock Tonite cranks up the tempo and the volume with it's squalling sax Mean Mr Senf is a full-throttle yackety-sax instrumental Night Gown swings irresistibly and features suitably twee female backing vocals Creeps is a wild jumper fired by manic sax, trumpet (Vince Mai) and trombone which leaves Chompin' at The Bit, which does exactly what it says on the tin.
Whilst there are artists like Johnny Ferreira around, lovers of rock&roll and sax fired R&B can rest easy that their music is in safe hands.
What do you think! (www.johnnyferreira.com)
- Mick Rainsford
Reviewed by John Valenteyn If you're into the sound of early rock & roll with its honking saxes over a driving beat, this is a CD for you.
Burnaby, BC's wild sax man is back, on tenor & baritone and vocals with ten original songs that capture the sound of an era perfectly. These are not museum pieces, though, there's an energy that comes from loving and living the music.
"Wine Women & Song" roars out of the starting block with Colin James on guitar and Eric Webster on piano. Robbie King, the late B3 legend stars on "Swing That Thing" but there are too many names here to mention everyone. Each track has a couple of backup vocalists and a different horn-heavy band lineup. "If That Ain't Love" is a particularly good rocker, followed by "Lady", a lovely showcase for the tender ballad side of his sax style.
This is Ferreira's fourth solo CD to add to much studio work since his tenure with an early version of the Colin James Band. Find out more at his web site, www.johnnyferreira.com
- John Valenteyn (Maple Blues, Toronto Blues Society)
Johnny Ferreira - Rock & Roll Saxophonist
If there was ever a more invigorating musical genre than jump blues then I've yet to hear it. And here comes one time Colin James cohort Johnny Ferreira with the best non-stop party I've heard all year.
The 21st century version of Big Jay McNeely, Mr Ferreira may only be a serviceable singer but when he starts honking on his horn it's damn near irresistible. Setiing his stall out on the Colin James enhanced "Wine, Women & Song", it's a non-stop headrush through an electrifying set of songs.
He's toured with the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top and Robert Plant amongst others, but this is the music of his heart and it should be yours too.
S A Hamilton - Zeitgeist, Space Rock, Edinburgh, United Kingdom