• 1. Sylvia Ann
  • 2. Fonda
  • 3. Diswa
  • 4. Mr. T.J.
  • 5. Little Daphne
  • 6. Devon Jean
  • 7. Spring Rain

It was a time when the reigning U.S. label for jazz was CTI. The early 1970s also saw another label hit the streets, and with Rudolph Johnson's Spring Rain, Black Jazz offered a kind of counter to the CTI Sound. Airtight and with little or no reverb, it was an even starker contrast to yet another new label of the time, Europe's ECM Records. And, with 1971's Spring Rain, we heard what now sounds even more vibrant, a resonant recording quality that found everyone from Ray Pounds' drums peppered and punctuated with just the right amount of sizzle, akin to what Billy Cobham, Bernard Purdie and Steve Gadd were doing over at CTI. Likewise, Reggie Johnson's rich, fat bass and John Barnes' crystal-clear piano are also all over these songs. But, it's the main attraction, tenor saxophonist Rudolph Johnson, who sounds like a well-bred catalogue of stylists, from Eddie Harris and his trademark sass and spunk-funk to Charles Lloyd before Lloyd sounded like the tenorist we've come to know, with traces of John Coltrane thrown in for good measure. It's a composite where the man still comes out sounding like himself." --John Ephland; Personnel Rudolph Johnson (tenor), John Barnes (piano), Reggie Johnson (bass), Ray Pounds (drums).