Smooth Jazz Magazine
MARCUS JOHNSON Image Credit: Smooth Jazz Magazine
MARCUS JOHNSON Image Credit: Smooth Jazz Magazine

MARCUS JOHNSON

Marcus Johnson, a resident of the District of Columbia, is an award-winning, Billboard chart-topping, NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz pianist, entrepreneur, and self-empowerment activist.

Brandon Foster

With “Ballads in My Voice,” he strives to recapture the essence of quintessential romantic ballads that span from the 1980s to the 2010s, with his eloquent playing of the piano and the occasional use of a voicebox. From the tracklist of twelve cover songs, one can assume that Johnson himself is a hopeless romantic as the listener experiences the journey of love: its happiness, sadness, humility, and sensuality.

Johnson starts out with a classic pop hit, “In the Air Tonight,” by Phil Collins, sprinkling his jazzy piano on the haunting tune about infidelity. This new rendition also has its infamously and melodramatically thunderous drums representing the quarrel between lovers. Janet, Miss Jackson if you are nasty, would be thoroughly impressed by Johnson’s seductive tickling of the ivories on “Anytime, Anyplace.” The soft groove sets the romantic mood for lovers everywhere. “No Ordinary Voice” has a rock edge and accented African elements, with the smooth piano played on the verses that jazz songbird Sade sang on her 1992 rendition.

Thanks to Johnson, another sensual tune “Morning Light” is led by unsung vocalist Alyson Williams while she pleads for the lover to keep the fiery passion going. Johnson brings “Say Yes” back to life,


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