Harold Johnson Sextet – 1967 – House On Elm Street
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Incredibly consistent soul jazz LP that just grooves all the way through. Had me scrambling to find their first LP as well which is as good as this. Elements of the Blue Note label’s sound of the period can be heard on this as well….the ones that had the hip hop folks scrambling for samples. But the title track especially, along with 3-4 others will stick in your head and beg repeated listenings.
On this killer album, cut in 1967 for the independent west coast label Revue, the Harold Johnson Sextet has actually eight musicians. But the core band is formed by Harold Johnson on piano, Jimmy Nash on bass, Ronald Rutledge on drums and Billy Jackson on congas. The four reedsmen show up occasionally, but place accents where needed. Especially flautist David Crawford.
This discovery is a real treat!
Harold was five years old when he began singing and playing piano in church. At five years old, he began formal piano and theory lessons with jazz pianist and public school educator Ms. Irma Lawrence. He also studied string instruments in elementary school, guitar and acoustic bass in middle school.
Harold was in High School when he signed with (H.M.E.) an Independent Record Label in Los Angeles. The Harold Johnson Sextet group recorded their first single entitled “Sorry About That” and first album entitled “House On Elm Street.” In 1967, “House On Elm Street was picked up by MCA Universal’s Jazz Label “Revue.” With a new album cover, “House On Elm Street” was released international.
Harold recorded two additional albums entitled: “Everybody Loves A Winner” and “Wide Open.” Musical icons David Crawford, Ndugu Chancelor and Larry Nash were original members of The Harold Johnson Sextet.
In 1968, Harold sang lead and tenor with the “Young Saints Performing Arts Group.” The Young Saints were the opening act for Movie Legend Danny Kaye at the newly opened Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
In 1970, Harold signed an exclusive Producer, Writer and Artist agreement with Berry Gordy’s Motown Record Company/Jobete Publishing Company. As a member of the Motown Singing Group “The Devastating Affair” he traveled with Diana Ross as an opening act in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Far East. The Devastating Affair appeared with Diana Ross at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Harrahs Hotel & Casino in Tahoe, Nevada from 1971 to 1975.
In 1978, Harold appeared with the Temptations on the popular Flip Wilson Television Show as a feature keyboardist.
In 1980, Harold was a Keyboardist and, Arranger for The Temptations International Tour.
1980-1985 Harold signed an exclusive Staff Writer’s Agreement with The Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss A&M Record’s Almo/Irving Music Publishing Company.
Producer, Writer and Arranger: Over forty of Harold’s songs have been recorded by Artists such as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stanley Turrentine, Devastating Affair, Smokey Robinson, Sylvester, Nate Dogg, Harold Johnson II, Natalia Johnson, Stephanie Mills, Olivia Reese, Liz Mc Comb, Jerry Butler, 21st Creation, Three Ounces Of Love, Dennis Edwards, Z.Z. Hill, Thelma Houston, Tata Vega, Michael Wycoff, Atlantic Starr, Rockie Robbins, Gloria Gaynor, LTD and Jeffrey Osbourne, The OJAYS, The Temptations and more.