Joe Pass, J.J. Johnson: We’ll Be Together Again (1983)

We'll Be Together Again [1996]

Track list:

01. Wave
02. We’ll Be Together Again
03. Naked as a Jaybird
04. Blue Bossa
05. Limehouse Blues
06. How Long Has This Been Going On?
07. Bud’s Blues
08. Nature Boy
09. Solar
10. When Lights Are Low


J. J. Johnson – trombone
Joe Pass – guitar

Recorded: Group IV Recording Studios, Hollywood; October 26, 1983.
Released: 1984
Label: Pablo

OJCCD-909-2 [1996, CD, re-master, re-issue]

Producer: Norman Granz
Recording Engineer: Andy D’Addario

Liner Notes: Bennie Green

Layout, Design: Norman Granz, Sheldon Marks
Photography: Phil Stern

Re-mastered (1996) by: Joe Tarantino

Art Direction: Phil Carroll

Liner Notes: Bennie Green

We'll Be Together Again [1983]

[pd: Is it my imagination or does the 1984 Pablo album cover give the impression that Joe Pass is a left-handed guitarist?.

What an insult… The credits for layout design are attributed to Norman Granz and Sheldon Marks.]


Few would argue with the statement that there is not an excess of guitar-trombone duet albums.

In fact, in terms of instrumentation, this date may very well be somewhat unique in jazz history.

Trombonist J.J. Johnson had already been the pacesetter on his instrument for nearly 40 years at the time, while guitarist Joe Pass proved in the 1970s that he could make his axe fulfill all the roles of an orchestra.

Still, the strong success of this inspired outing is a bit of a surprise.

While Pass often adds walking lines behind Johnson, the trombonist sometimes plays long tones behind the guitarist’s solos.

Most exciting are the spots where the two share the lead equally.

Other than Bud Powell’s “Bud’s Blues” and Johnson’s “Naked as a Jaybird,” the duo sticks to standards.

But obviously, these versions sound quite a bit different than usual.

Highlights include “Wave,” “Limehouse Blues,” “Nature Boy,” and “When Lights Are Low.”

Highly recommended.
~Scott Yanow[]