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Alphonso Johnson - Yesterday's Dreams CD (album) cover


Alphonso Johnson


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.37 | 8 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Former Weather Report bassist has definitely oriented himself toward pop music and the popular melodic disco-funk world now despite the remarkable variety of song styles represented here.

A1. "Love's The Way I Feel 'Bout Cha" (4:43) jazz pop from Philip Bailey with wonderful vocals from Diane Reeves. Nice bass play as well. A rather powerful song that should have charted as a single on the R&B or Dance charts. (9/10)

A2. "As Little As You" (3:23) a funky instrumental (8.75/10)

A3. "Scapegoat" (5:10) an upbeat disco-funky instrumental over which lyrical saxes perform. We're definitely in the world of Smooth Jazz now. Great funk bass, sax play (from both Grover Washington, Jr. and Ernie Watts), and use of brass section for accents. A top three for me despite the fact that it never really realizes its tremendous potential. (8.875/10)

A4. "Show Us The Way" (4:55) beautiful gentle electric guitar arpeggi provide all the support necessary to buoy the gorgeous deep vocals of jazz singer Jon Lucien. A top three song. (9/10)

B1. "Balls To The Wall" (5:00) opens for 30-seconds like a heavy metal/power rock song with Ray Gomez's electric guitar and Alphonso's power chords and Chester Thompson's racing drum play before turning Mahavishnu funk. From here out everyone is so tight keeping up with Chester and Alphonso. Another top three song for me. (8.875/10)

B2. "Tales Of Barcelona" (2:16) interesting Mahavishnu-like power prayer. (4.5/5)

B3. "Flight To Hampstead Heath" (5:55) opens with a very proggy harpsichord-like arpeggi track over which Alphonso solos with a fretless electric bass. Ruth Underwood's work is so perfect! As is the amazing chemistry between Alphonso and Chester Thompson. My favorite song on the album despite it being far more prog-rock than j-r fusion-- more like something from a NOVA or STEVE HACKETT album. (9.25/10)

B4. "One To One" (3:53) another funk track that feels like something between Jan Hammer and Weather Report. Lots of spice and hot sauce coming from all directions--especially the horn section but also from Alphonso, the guitar, keys, and percussion. Nice Fender Rhodes solo in the second minute. Ray Gomez gets the next solo and it's good though far more rock-oriented than prog or j-r fuse; he's definitely a master of sound clarity. Alphonse's Jaco-like interplay with the horn section in the final minute is cool. Solid. (9/10)

Total Time 35:14

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of eclectic jazz-infused music, pop to funk to j-r fuse to prog: it's all here!

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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