Author Topic: Jimmy "Flim" Johnson  (Read 30526 times)

rustyg61

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1200 on: November 22, 2017, 04:13:44 PM »
It's a great night out Rusty. Very relaxed atmosphere with some fantastic music. Plus you get a chance to chat with some of the best musicians in the world as they pack up (no roadies here  ;D )

Graeme


You are right Graeme! I have been to the Baked Potato once & got to meet Jerry Watts playing with the John Daversa Big Band. It is indeed a very intimate setting to enjoy great music & hang out with the players afterward. The food is good too!
Rusty
2011 SCSD
2014 "Blue Orca" Series II Europa

rv_bass

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1201 on: November 26, 2017, 03:25:22 PM »
Hi Jimmy,

I saw a clip on Instagram of you playing at your awards ceremony (congrats, well deserved and over due!), very nice!.  I really like the sound of your bass and was wondering what kind of strings you use (round, half rounds, flats)?  I searched the alembic site and the web and have not yet found a reference to string type.  I’ve been using flats, but I like the clarity of the sound you are getting on that clip, sounds to me somewhere between rounds and flats.

Thanks very much,
Rob
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 03:26:59 PM by rv_bass »

JimmyJ

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Re: Jimmy \
« Reply #1202 on: November 27, 2017, 12:24:23 AM »
Rusty, yes, you should definitely get to the Potato on one of your trips to SoCal.  It's kind of a historical place for us musos and there is usually some good playing going on. 

Gregory, thanks.  I'm happy to get back under the radar after this recent "exposure".  Ha!  It's all good, very kind of those folks to include me.  And yes, I understand how lucky I've been to be able to do what I've been able to do for all these years.

Thanks Ed V.

And Rob, thank you also for the kind words. On my fretted basses I've been using ghs Boomers (I just realized I can now say) for over 40 years!!  Ha!  They're round wound but nickel plated which makes them a bit mellower than steel - if I understand it correctly.  I also change them often because I like the sound of a fresh set.

Strings are a personal thing and there are a lot of good products available out there.  I recommend you keep looking until you find a setup you really enjoy.

Jimmy J

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Jimmy \
« Reply #1203 on: November 27, 2017, 05:52:12 AM »
If you don't mind the asking Jimmy J... what (if any different) are your fretless basses strung with?

JimmyJ

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Re: Jimmy \
« Reply #1204 on: November 27, 2017, 09:20:21 AM »
Gregory,

My fretless basses are oddballs - graphite necks, ebony fingerboards and combined bridge/tailpieces mounted on giant blocks...  What can I say, it was an experimental time.  Ha!  Close-up of the main bass below. 

As you can see, on these basses I use a piano-string style bare-core set which used to be called "SuperWound" by RotoSound and has become available again under the name "PSD Bass 99".  These come with adjustable ball-ends so you can fit them to any bridge.  They are straight-ahead steel round-wound strings and would probably sound pretty bright and brash on a fretted bass - and might chew up the frets...

But because I have no frets and there's only a small pivot point over the bridge (plus the fact that I don't play fretless as often), these strings last forever.  Where I've bought maybe thousands of sets of Boomers over the last 40 years, I've probably only bought half a dozen sets of these since I got the 1st fretless in 1980.  In fact, I've boiled these strings a few times to bring them back to life.  HA!

Cheers,
Jimmy J

acoustic1

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1205 on: November 27, 2017, 09:27:46 AM »
How are you Jimmy,

Found these nice photo's - Japanese!!

 :D :D
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 09:29:43 AM by acoustic1 »

eddievig

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1206 on: December 24, 2017, 07:50:46 PM »
To Jimmy J and all of my fellow forum dwellers, Happiest of Holidays! May Santa bring you all new gear.

Ed V

JimmyJ

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Re: Jimmy \
« Reply #1207 on: December 25, 2017, 10:24:55 AM »
Thanks Ed.  Happy end-o-the-year holiday action to everybody.
Jimmy J

facemo

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1208 on: January 16, 2018, 09:39:54 PM »
Jimmy,  I have been following you and Lee Sklar for as long as I can remember (being a big James Taylor fan).  Your taste, restraint and all around superb musicianship has been an inspiration to me.  I have owned a few alembic basses over the years and even had Mica build a custom 5 for me back in 2000.  Listening to what you said about the full frequency spectrum of these instrument really got me thinking about what sets them apart from all other bass guitars.  The piano like quality of their tone and the fact that you can pretty much always recognize the sound of an Alembic is quite special. I once again have become an Alembic player, after having strayed for a few years.  I'm glad to be back. Looking forward to another year of making music for my soul.  Lastly, will you be at NAMM this year by chance?  I'm going for the first time as a Godin Artist.  I'd love to chat with you if you will be there.  Best!

JimmyJ

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Re: Jimmy \
« Reply #1209 on: January 17, 2018, 09:26:36 AM »
Hey Spencer,

Thanks the kind words.  I'm also a big JT fan and have been inspired by Leland's playing for many years.  I'm honored to still be subbing for him on that band!

We're glad to hear you've found another Alembic to add to your collection.  Hope it's a nice one and you're enjoying it.  (You don't have to be an Alembic owner to be in this forum.  Ha!)  I always say it's not everybody's cup of tea but it certainly appears to be mine as I've been enjoying this tone for over 40 years...

Have fun at NAMM.  It's ... um ... an interesting experience if you've never been.  Lot's of characters (watch for some great cosplay type of "rock" costumes) and a chance to run into some amazing musicians who are there to rep various companies - like yourself.  But it's all about gear and business and hard to see any musical "soul" in the cacophony.  Just something to keep in mind.  Bring along some mellow music to listen to at the end of the day as a reminder of what it's really all about.  I don't plan to attend the show but I'll be at the Baked Potato with Landau on Saturday and Sunday - making our own cacophony!  Just what everybody needs after a day of racket.  Ha!!

Cheers!
Jimmy J

hieronymous

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1210 on: February 28, 2018, 03:47:54 PM »
I hope this is ok to post here - I just randomly came across this video from Allan Holdsworth's 1984 tour in Japan - the title is "Tokyo Dream" - it starts with Mr. Holdsworth changing his strings, it looks like the complete concert, and plus it introduces the "newest member of the band" - Jimmy Johnson!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWU_yFFsNtc

edwin

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1211 on: February 28, 2018, 07:50:34 PM »
Jimmy, were you playing with Allan ca. 1986-7?

JimmyJ

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1212 on: February 28, 2018, 09:06:35 PM »
Oh so long ago...  Of course it's fine to post the link Hieronymus (Bosch?), it contains some great Holdsworth moments and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

Since you brought it up I'll tell you a couple related stories. 

In true Allan style, he only agreed to let them video tape this concert if he had final say on its release.  They taped it, he said NO, and they ignored him and put it out anyway.  Nice!  He was a perfectionist who could only focus on any musical missteps.  Even if the entire concert was great but one little thing in one song went wrong - that was all he could focus on.  We'd finish a set and say "Al, that was AMAZING" and he'd reply "you guys were great but I sucked".  Chad and I would look at each other and wonder what we missed.  Anyway, despite Allan hating this video, the rest of us are happy it was released and that we have a recording of these great Allan moments.

The second story is just for my forum pals.  I so much enjoyed the sound of my graphite-necked Series I fretless built by Alembic in 1980 that I had this fretted version built in 1982.  My experience with graphite is that a very stiff neck material will "pre-compress" the sound.  Think more sustain.  But that also takes away some of the dynamic range.  Not only doesn't the note die away as quickly but soft notes speak louder than expected and loud notes get squashed...  For the fretless I like this compression effect as it helps keep the notes sustaining or even blooming.  But in the end I didn't like it as a fretted bass because I was used to being able to play softer and louder than it seemed to allow.  So in the end I had this instrument converted to a fretless bass and it serves as a backup to my main 1980 bass - which I still love.

I don't think I used it on any records in its original iteration.  But ironically there are two videos which gave it pretty wide exposure - this one with Allan and another with Lee Ritenour, both recorded in 1984.  And I have to admit after all this time that the bass sound isn't bad.  HA!  in the end it probably would have been a great recording bass, but for live work I simply needed more control over the dynamics.  My wooden fretted basses work best for me in all situations, but the graphite is just the ticket for the fretless.


Thanks for reading.
Jimmy J


Edwin, yes, that's around the time I was playing with Allan.  Metal Fatigue album was '85 and Atavachron '86...

hieronymous

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Re: Jimmy \
« Reply #1213 on: February 28, 2018, 10:47:40 PM »
Wow, thank you for the stories! Really interesting back story to the video release. Has it ever been released on DVD?


I lived in Japan from '82-'88 when I was in Jr. High/High School, so the production values (including the Japanese subtitles) are nostalgic for me. Videotapes were REALLY expensive - a concert would go for at least $50-100 - I saw so many things that I wanted but only ever bought a couple - Rainbow & Deep Purple are the ones I can think of, and I watched them over and over again - I even recorded them to audio cassette so I could listen on the bus!


Thanks also for the insights into your graphite necked basses. I've been fortunate to seen one or two in person at an Alembic Gathering, but never played one myself.


My username is definitely Bosch influenced but I mistakenly made it into an adjective with the extra U and it stuck! I hated my name Harry growing up but like thinking that it could be an abbreviation for hieronymous.

JimmyJ

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Re: Jimmy
« Reply #1214 on: March 01, 2018, 12:03:17 AM »
Hieronymous it is then.  I think the original release was LaserDisc, and probably VHS.  Maybe even BETA.  It never officially got to DVD as far as I know.  Considering the shady business of the folks who originally put it out ... I think YouTube is a good place for it.

Wild that you lived there at the time.  Concert tickets, club cover charges, and media has always been amazingly expensive in Japan.  That was one of my first visits but it became a regular touring destination for me.  I still seem to get there at least once a year and always enjoy the trip.

Cheers,
Jimmy J