Thursday, February 19, 2015

In Memory James "J.J." Johnson

J.J. and I worked together at the Wooster Group in 1992. Later he recorded sound for my Hamlet. We did a couple other jobs together at Rutgers, mixing some TV shows. Then he moved out to LA and I only saw him a couple times -- once out there and once back in New York.
J.J. in May of 1992 in Zurich.
I always thought of J.J. as a "professional aesthete." His aesthetic sense was preternatural.  J.J. wasn't really an "Internet" guy, so when he moved to LA we were mostly out of touch and I hadn't heard he'd passed away until last week.

J.J. taught me so many things. How to actually work together to back one another up on a team. How Lone Star was a unheralded classic. His affection for a nice, old Schoeps microphone.
Eating at French and Italian restaurants was a joy with J.J. because of his encyclopaedic knowledge of continental cuisine. I was with him in Bordeaux when the change we got from the restaurant was in the old currency the government had just discontinued and therefore was useless (so they pawned it off on American tourists.) We laughed it off. Listening to J.J. talk about his love of jazz was better than listening to jazz.

He is missed.
His obituary.

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