At first, it might seem like a calculated stylistic detour -- hot young hip-hop-influenced trumpeter teams up with a Hammond organ player (Radam Schwartz) who's equally fresh but strictly from the old school. But 2003's Mood Swings is not Wynton Marsalis-style dilettante posing of the "I remember Jimmy Smith" variety; there is nothing retro or nostalgic about this album, although it's firmly rooted in '60s-style organ combo jazz and mostly draws from the hard bop songbook. The opening track, a frenetic 20-notes-a-second take on Donald Byrd's "The Injuns," is as forward-looking as anything Gunn has done. Although ballads like Benny Golson's weightless, lovely "Park Avenue Petite" allow Gunn to explore Miles Davis' gentle tonal palette, it's more aggressive performances like "S. Crib" and the downright funky "Twice Around" that really show off Gunn's abilities. ~ Stewart Mason
JazzTimes (2/04, p.145) - "Johnson boasts a bred-in-the-bone organ-trio guitar sound, with plenty of early-Benson treble."
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