Is It That You Can't Control Your B(itches)?!


The character Passion/Pashen (Pashen - as listed by IMDB) played by Joyce Walker/Joyce Joseph Walker in Willie Dynamite also appeared in Paid In Full as Janet Woods - Ace Woods (played by Wood Harris - portraying Harlem Sugarhill subdivision's own: AZ) mother. In both WD and PIF Joyce J. Walker faces quagmires. J.J. Johnson (born James Louis Johnson) in Indianapolis, Indiana, (January 22, 1924 - February 4, 2001), was a United States jazz trombonist, composer and arranger provides the theme for 'Passion's Dilemma' with his MCA release of the OST (original soundtrack) to Willie Dynamite.

In his early twenties J.J. Johnson developed a remarkable, flawless technique and was the first trombonist to rise to the challenge of bebop music, remaining unchallenged at the forefront of modern jazz throughout his career. He played the instrument at super-rapid clips (a Philadelphia nightclub once billed him, Barnum and Bailey style, as “The Fastest Trombone Player Alive!”), and who, with the great Kai Winding, made the famous “J.J. and Kai” recordings showing that the trombone could indeed be a virtuoso instrument. In 1970 he ceased performing in public for most of 17 years, before a comeback in the late 1980s. From the mid fifties on, he was a perennial polling favorite in jazz circles, even winning Down Beat's "Trombonist of the Year" during years he wasn't active. Voted into Down Beat's Hall of Fame in 1995, J.J. Johnson's recording career spanned 54 years, from 1942 to 1996.
J.J. Johnson has long been regarded as the greatest trombonist of the Post-Swing Era, a pervasive influence on other jazz musicians, and one of jazz's legendary figures.

J.J. Johnson in an interview with
Bob Bernotas of the Online Trombone Journal unveils:

Let's talk about that for a while. How did you break into film composing?

Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin were very instrumental in prodding me into having a crack at something that I was eating my heart out to try. They reassured me, "J.J., have a go at it. What's the worst that can happen if it doesn't work out for you? It's a tough business, J.J. It's competitive. We don't know what kind of luck you'll have. All we know is, as far as we're concerned, you have what it takes to become a successful film composer and we would strongly urge you to have a crack at it. And we will do what we can to see that you get on the inside by way of having a good agent."

You must have an agent, a film composing agent, not a jazz agent. The film community is a whole 'nother world. And I can say without reservation that early on I also found out that, man, you're in a very racist element here. There are no black film composers doing the likes of Star Wars, doing the likes of E.T., doing the likes of Jurassic Park. There are none, nor will there ever be one. That ain't about to happen!

I was planning to ask you about that. Most of your film credits are for the so-called "blaxploitation" films of that time.

All of them were blaxploitation films.

So you feel that you were pigeon-holed or typecast into these sorts of films?

No question about it. I've had my film composing agent tell me, "J.J., I tried my best to talk this guy into hiring you for the film and the guy says, `Of course I know the name J.J. Johnson, but he's a jazz musician. We don't want jazz in this picture.' And I tried my best to tell him, `But he's not gonna write jazz for your movie. He's gonna write movie music.'"

They have tunnelvision. All they know is, "J.J. Johnson is a jazz musician, so therefore he will write jazz for my movie, and this movie ain't about jazz." So not only are they racist, they have severe cases of tunnelvision. The film production community is a horror show as far as being flexible enough to give a guy a chance at something. I thank God for the one or two cases where I was fortunate enough to work with people who were not of that mindset. That's how I got aboard Buck Rogers in the Twenty-first Century, for TV.

*Romancing the stone - music appreciation - uFaqs (un-frequently asked questions) of "gems"


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