*(Via The Scoop LA) — In Los Angeles, California, listeners marvel at the depth of talent and versatility of artists that live or migrate here from all parts of the world. However, many of the most talented artists in Los Angeles migrate here from other eastern cities in the United States that are meccas of scintillating talent. Philadelphia, New York and Cleveland, Ohio and many other cities have represented themselves well, with artists that are so proficient on their instruments, it boggles your sensibilities. One of those amazing artists is Cleveland, Ohio’s own Johnny Britt.
As a trumpeter, singer, pianist, arranger and composer, Britt has either worked behind the scenes in the studio, or live on stage with artists such as Josh Groban, Davie Bowie, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones, Dionne Warwick, Jennifer Lopez, Boney James and countless others. Currently, he is the music producer for the hit TV show, “America Sings.” He also worked for The Temptations, becoming their youngest musical director, which led to work on the TV movie, “The Temptations Story.” Britt started performing and singing in church at an early age, in Cleveland, Ohio as the lead singer for his church’s choir. “Cleveland was the best,” said Johnny Britt. “And I didn’t even know it. I lived right down the street from Eddie Levert (of the O’Jays.) There was a lot of talent in our neighborhood, and a lot of singing going on, so at a very early age, I was in school.”
Britt debuted his new album, “Marvin Meets Miles,” June 12, 2016 at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood. But why a project that marries the talents of Marvin Gaye and Miles Davis?
“Those two legends were a great influence on me, “said Johnny Britt. ”I think the way Marvin sang was very lyrical and extremely musical. And the same goes with Miles Davis. He consumed his notes. He approached the trumpet like a singer. So it was an easy fit for me, because I do play trumpet and I do sing. I’m not saying I am Miles Davis on the trumpet or that I am Marvin, I’ve just been highly influenced by those artists. So the concept came to me, and I’ve been working on it for two years.”
From the moment he stepped on the Catalina stage, his talent and musical prowess captivated the audience. His show took a very interesting departure from other shows. He often performed short vignettes that spotlighted his talent as a vocalist and trumpeter. His set varied from jazz to funk to ballads, which worked well for the audience.
Johnny Britt is a terrific showman and gets an audience engaged, getting them to dance; even having members of the audience come on stage. His set included classic Marvin Gaye songs, such as “Inner City Blues,” and “Let’s Get It On,” and “Got To Give It Up.” However Britt demonstrated his mettle on the trumpet, and although his tone was reminiscent of Miles Davis, Britt revealed a style that was distinctly his own. He excelled on a beautiful ballad that was so moving, you could barely hear a pin drop at the Catalina Bar and Grill. Later in his set, he brought three vocalists to the stage, which rounded out the vocals beautifully. Their best vocal song of the night was “Just To Keep You Satisfied,” a brilliant vocal piece that spotlighted Britt’s considerable vocal skills. One of the best songs of the set was a Marvin Gaye classic, “What’s Going On,” a song that featured a poignant video as a backdrop. But the best moment of the night was when Britt invited his son, Josh Britt, a trumpeter and instrumentalist on the stage to perform with him. They did a duet that bought the audience to its feet.
Read MORE of this review by Buddy Sampson at The Scoop LA.