J.J. Johnson took the trombone across the threshold from swing to bebop and has been one of its finest players for nearly 60 years. He was also one of the leading composers and arrangers in or out of jazz. Johnson spent much of the 1970s and '80s writing for television and films, only occasionally emerging from the Hollywood studios to play. Pinnacles resulted from one of those occasions. His writing chops were up, so he brought in four new pieces for the album and six superb players to perform them. Tommy Flanagan played grand piano, as always, but also a small arsenal of electric keyboards, in keeping with the trend of the times. The veterans Ron Carter and Billy Higgins rounded out the rhythm section. Johnson shared the front line with tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson and Oscar Brashear, a trumpeter prominent in Los Angeles then and now.
with Oscar Brashear, Joe Henderson, Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, Billy Higgins, Kenneth Nash