Jazz Professional               

JOHN KEATING

Quotes

Photo by kind permission of JKM Music Publishers, London.
  • A jaws harp, a contra bass clarinet, a tuba, a musical saw, a wobble board and a squeaker. The combination is reminiscent of one of those early free-for-alls in New Orleans. Or perhaps even a Balkan peasantsí gathering. In fact these are merely some of the instruments that Johnny Keating uses for record sessions. John Martin

  •  ...this album was quite different from anything I've ever done—a new challenge. The arrangements were fantastic. John is a beautiful guy, and he knows me. Carmen McRae

  • Shirley Horn won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocalist of 1998 for her CD 'I Remember Miles'. The CD contains an item This Hotel which was originally written for the Warner Brothers movie Hotel. The tune, written by Johnny Keating, is the picture's main theme. When the picture was finally completed, a lyric by the film's director Richard Quine was offered to Keating and it was immediately added in time to be included in the Soundtrack Album, sung on that occasion by the brilliant Carmen McRae. The Hotel, a film song with an absolutely ravishing melody, is most probably the finest tune that Johnny Keating has ever written during his long and brilliant career. It has everything: smooth modulations, delicate sequential imitations and a logical development route towards an inevitable, covert climax. Ken Rattenbury

  • … a line-up of five saxes doubling wood-wind, four D trumpets. four Bb trumpets, four horns, three trombones and bass trombone, tuba, rhythm including two drummers, percussion and harp. Keating has used the available tone colours with intelligence. Particularly appealing is the blend of divisi horns doubled by saxes, a very smooth and sophisticated sound, and one that might well become a familiar trademark. Another intriguing sound is the quasi oriental octave coupling of soprano sax and cor anglais over a drone of trombones and voices. There are few solos... however we do get some good flugelhorn in "Speak Low", a very welcome jazz trumpet solo in "Samba de Orfeo", and an appealing and delicately-phrased horn backed with jazz vibes in "Everything Happens To Me". Also deserving of praise is that much-maligned man, the recording engineer. He can, of course, undo the musicians' very noblest efforts. But in this case, Decca's top man, Arthur Lilley, has done his usual impeccable and musicianly job. Bernard Ebbinghouse on The Keating Sound.

  • … if someone does hit on a new sound at all, it's usually only good for one record, because after that everybody else is using it. I remember when the beat thing started up what fierce rivalry there was in the London pop-world. Johnny Keating was doing a lot of pop stuff in those days and he used to get up to all kinds of tricks to create a sound that no-one else could possibly imitate. It was like a game. Sometimes he'd use a bass harmonica or a Heckelphone to boost up the bass line and he used to swear everyone in the studio to secrecy on these occasions. Ron Simmonds

  • Then I did one for one of your arranger /composers here, who happens to be a great writer—Johnny Keating. It was the movie Hotel, and I play a love ballad on it, behind a love scene. I was real proud to be on it; that was the first time that we had been under his baton in America—everybody loved his writing. Marvellous. Frank Rosolino

  • The pianist wishes to know if you have any requests. Waiter in Chinese restaurant
    Yes. Ask him to play some correct changes. Johnny Keating, composer

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