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Charlie Johnson

A good pianist who seldom soloed, Charlie Johnson is of greatest significance for leading his Heaven Ten, an orchestra that had five excellent saving periods during 1925-1929, and played at Smalls’ Heaven during 1925-1935. One of the sidemen who show up on Johnson’s information are trumpeters Jabbo Smith, Thomas Morris, Leonard Davis, and Sidney DeParis; trombonists Charlie Irvis and Jimmy Harrison; altoists Benny Carter (who produced his documenting debut with Johnson in 1927) and Edgar Sampson; and tenor saxophonist Benny Waters. Generally, their recordings surpass the fantastic potential. Charlie Johnson led his music group until 1938, and freelanced until sick health compelled his pension in the 1950s.

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