RJ & The Assignment - Hybrid Harmony (Out Now)

February 08, 2020 - 654 views

Keyboardist-composer RJ performs his own fresh mixture of jazz and r&b on Hybrid Harmony


Vocals-Kiata Brown, Aja Hawkins, Klaiton Johnson, Alisha Webster 

Electric Bass-Jason Bolden, Donald Phillips

Upright Bass-Eric Runquist, Lead Guitar-Johnny Johnson

Sax- Julian Tanaka, Drums-Terry Wesley 

Acoustic Piano, keyboards-RJ 

Auxilliary Instruments-Tom Schuman 

RJ (Reginald Johnson) is a talented Las Vegas-based musician who blends together electric soul jazz, r&b and gospel influences to create his own accessible form of music.Hybrid Harmony teams RJ with drummer Terry Wesley II, either Jason Bolden, Donald Phillips or Eric Runquist on bass, occasionally guitarist Johnny Johnson and tenor-saxophonist Julian Tanaka, and the additional instruments of Tom Schuman plus, on some selections, singers Klaiton Johnson, Kiara Brown, Aja Hawkins, and Alisha Webster. The program, which includes seven RJ originals, covers a wide area of music. “I’m Tryin’” opens the set with a warm r&b vocal from Kaiton Johnson before becoming a feature for RJ’s keyboards. Infused with some humorous verbal comments, “My Mean Ol’ Aunt” alternates between funky and straight ahead jazz. Of the other vocal pieces, Kiara Brown scats with spirit on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” while “Prototype” is particularly memorable with Kaiton Johnson and Aja Hawkins’ voices blending together beautifully as they echo each other’s words.

Instrumentally, “Autumn Steps” is an inventive relative of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” “Hybrid Harmony” (which uses two of the singers as wordless vocalists in the opening ensemble) has strong keyboard and tenor solos, “Between Now And Never” has a fine spot from Julian Tanaka’s tenor, and “After Service” is a modern jazz piece that grooves, featuring RJ’s acoustic piano. RJ, who was born and raised in Chicago, learned to play piano by ear at his church. He worked in local clubs, and studied music at the Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas where he earned a Master’s degree. In his career thus far he has played keyboards for such artists as Jennifer Hudson, Otis Clay, Buddy Guy, and most recently Boys II Men. As a songwriter, arranger, composer and producer RJ works at JK Melody Productions, making musical contributions to the careers of many other artists. 

However RJ is making his greatest impact as the leader of his own group, the Assignment. A fixture in Las Vegas, RJ had three previous albums as a leader: Deceiving Eyes (2011), Stroke Of Midnight (2013) and Color Blind (2016). Now with the release of their finest recording, Hybrid Harmony, RJ & The Assignment has created accessible and soulful jazz that will certainly be capturing and delighting a large audience. 

Available from Amazon UK




Label: Self Produced

Artist Website: www.rjandtheassignment.com 

UPC Code : 051497149802 

Release Date: JANUARY 24, 2020 

1- I’m Tryin’ 4:06 

2- My Mean Ol’ Aunt 4:47 

3- Walk In Your Light 3:30 

4- Hybrid Harmony 5:37 

5- Prototype 4:19 

6- Autumn Steps 3:47 

7- Everybody Wants To Rule the World 4:15 

8- Between Now and Never 6:35 

9- Can’t Nobody 4:05

10- After Service 3:31


Log in to comment