Tom Johnson is excited about his latest project, the Shark quintet. “I think I’ve found a format where I can really explore what I want to express”, he explains. The band has an unusual instrumentation: trombone, two saxes, double bass and drums. “This is a great opportunity to get stuck in”
Isn’t it difficult to create harmonic interest with this line-up?
“Definitely not.” Johnson is convinced; “the fact that we have no harmonic instrument has two important implications. First, it means that we can construct a harmony between all of us. When I write I can use up to four notes if I wish to and that’s more than enough to create a rich harmony. What’s more, the chords that we build tend to ring out more than they would do on a guitar or piano, because each instrument brings it’s own overtones to the equation.” “Secondly”, he adds “this means we can free up, putting sound together in composition and, of course, in improvisation”
Since arriving in Barcelona from England, Tom Johnson has got deeper into music both as a writer and as a performer. “I’ve been lucky; I’ve had the chance to do a lot of things.” He works regularly as arranger and trombonist for a diverse array of groups, from the groove of La Fundación Tony Manero, the salsa of Los Fulanos, and jazz with Philipe Hiflinger’s International Swing Gigolos, the Badalona Big Band and the Barcelona Big Acustic Band