I have been searching through CDBaby this week which is still an excellent source of new releases. I came across this newish release from Gregory Johnson who is best known for his work with Cameo.
Here is his blurb on CDBaby
From an early age Gregory demonstrated a facility with the piano. Encouraged by his parents, along with singing in his church's choir, he began taking lessons in classical piano from the choir director.
After many years of being under the tutelage of teachers and family influences, Gregory began using his ability to play by ear to pick out his favorite tunes from the radio. He was inspired by the sounds of "The In Crowd," by Ramsey Lewis, and "Soulful Strut," by Young Holt Unlimited. After the latter, classical music was no longer his focus. Archie Bell and the Drells' "Tighten Up" was the hit of the moment and Gregory formed his own band, performing the R&B songs that were climbing the charts at that time. While attending a community talent show, featuring bands that were, by Gregory's estimation, "Happening!" he struck up the beginnings of a long artistic collaboration with Larry Blackmon. Upon being asked, he joined Mr. Blackmon's band. Later on in their initial association, they began calling themselves "The Mighty Gees."
Working together, Gregory and Larry earnestly pursued their dreams of being successful in the music industry. Initially, the pair sought success through backing up Howard Kinney, and the vocal group, Top Shelf. They eventually became part of Willie Feaster and The Mighty Magnificent's Concrete Wall. Along the way, they evolved into East Coast, featuring Gwen Guthrie, then, morphed into The New York City Players. However, just before the release of the group's first single, the popular group, The Ohio Players took issue with the similarity in the groups' names. Leading them finally, in 1973 to jell into the ensemble group Cameo.
With Cameo, Gregory has to his credit five gold records. Much later, through a writing credit, he received a platinum record from Boyz II Men's album, "Evolution."
Gregory left Cameo in October of 1982 to reevaluate his life and pursuits. Thereafter, he focused on finishing his education in music. After auditioning, Mr. Johnson was accepted into The Manhattan School of Music. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Composition and a Masters Degree in Piano Performance as well.
Gregory continues actively engaged in music. He has performed as a solo pianist, played keyboards for various groups including Slave. He enjoys continuing the education of other aspiring musicians by teaching piano and is currently a consultant for a large audio department in a major retail establishment.
His currently released CD is a new journey into a no holds barred style. In the Smooth Jazz tradition the roots of hip and slick still reveal themselves.
Listen to the CD here:
Or drop by his website:
Or his MySpace: