Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
You can be assured that from the day J.J. was put on this earth he was destined to be a lover of music, and more so a lover of the Saxophone.
When he was in junior high school he was able to get into the school band. His first instrument was the Clarinet. He made it into the marching band at David T. Howard High School, playing with such talented musicians such as Duke Pierson who went on to become one of the top Jazz arrangers, composers and Players in his field. However it was soon discovered by some of the band members that J.J. was not reading the music and brought that fact to the attention of the band teacher (Mr. Days), not knowing that Mr. Days was already aware of this fact, and realized that J.J. was a gifted musician (A Musical Gift From The Heavenly Father). Mr. Days encouraged him to keep playing the way he was playing (Playing by Ear).When he was 14 years old, his mother surprised him with the gift of a new Alto Saxophone. Beingraised on a small farm in Atlanta Georgia, and his mother’s only child, after work J.J. found it very rewarding to sit in the window and play his saxophone. He soon discovered and realized that it was quite simple for him to hear a melody, and immediately play it. J.J. soon realized that his music was very, very easy to play, and found that sticking with the melody of a song, was something special. He very soon graduated to the Tenor Sax, and realized that the Tenor was his type of horn he would fall in love with. He soon was able to start working professionally with “STAGE SHOW BANDS” and travel the “CHITTLIN CIRCUIT” (at the age of 17 years old).
J.J. soon purchased his first “Selmer Saxophone” and it did not take long for him to realize that this would be the only instrument he would play. This Selmer is like “driving a Rolls Royce instead of a Ford.” It is the real horn player’s instrument. At one time in the past, J.J. thought he could sing, however, after a very short experience (Failure),J.J. immediately returned to his instrument.
J.J. has played with some of the greatest singers in the business, such as B.B King, Big Joe Turner, Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls, Larry Williams, Barry White, Chuck Willis, etc. Also, J.J. was the leader of the band for the great Jimmy Witherspoon, playing along side Arnett Coleman, and Jamming with such as Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Wynton Kelly and Cannonball Adderly, etc.