Phillip Johnston

Phillip Johnston’s twisted avant-jazz first emerged in the early 1980s when the composer/saxophonist was a mainstay of the New York City underground music scene. He performed there with a wide range of jazz artists, including Eugene Chadbourne and John Zorn. He was a founding member the Microscopic Septet, and, after it’s demise, he went on to lead Phillip Johnston’s Big Trouble and Phillip Johnston’s Transparent Quartet. Johnston was commissioned to work with various theatrical and dance productions. He also earned fame for his film scoring, which included pictures by Philip Haas and Doris Dorrie. After the 1992 dissolution of his group, the Microscopic Septet, Johnston resurfaced as a frontman for the band Big Trouble. He released a self-titled album on the Black Saint label. Johnston and Big Trouble were featured in the film noir The Unknown. Normalology was followed one year later. Johnston had a 1998 release on Zorn’s Tzadik label Music for Films and a Koch release with his Transparent Quartet, The Needless Kiss. Johnston is pictured with Dave Hofstra, tuba player, bassist, Joe Ruddick, vibraphonist Mark Josefberg, and pianist/baritone Saxophonist Joe Ruddick. The Merry Frolics of Satan: The Georges Meiles project was the follow-up to their debut album.

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