Tue. Aug. 03, 2021

BJ’s bassist Louis Johnson passed aged 60

To many African people bass is the heart of music. And music has lost one of his most boiling ones with the sad passing of Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson fame a few hours ago at the age of 60, as his brother George stated it on his Facebook wall…

“…Unfortunately……. Yes, I’m confirming my brother, the great Louis Johnson aka Thunder Thumbs, one of the innovators and influential bassist of our time, has passed. Please allow me more time for an update on information… Bless his soul. He will be missed. He’s resting in peace. “To my baby brother… You will always be with me!!!”

Louis JohnsonEqually known as ‘Thunder Thumbs’, a nickname that speaks for itself… We’ll remember Louis Johnson as one of the best players of all time. Therefore, standing among the ones who, along with Larry Graham, have introduced the slapping technique. An innovation which would revolutionize Funk. But also Jazz Fusion like Marcus Miller did on his own.

He got his signature sound from the StingRay. An electric bass guitar introduced by Music Man which Leo Fender especially designed for him back in 1976 to first use and promote. And in the meantime, from his slapping technique such as brilliantly explained in an article which Notreble published a few months ago.

As a matter of fact, Louis Johnson was best known as a member of The Brothers Johnson. But also his session playing on many albums during the 70’s and the 80’s. Beginning with the “best selling album of all time”, Michael Jackson‘s ‘Thriller’.

Initially a fortet called Johnson Three Plus One (comprising Louis, George, older brother Tommy and their cousin, Alex Weir), they started as a backing band. This for artists such as Bobby Womack and the Supremes. Louis and George soon after joining Billy Preston, before leaving his band in 1973.

1975 saw the two brothers joining Quincy Jones on his ‘Mellow Madness’ album. With the latter becoming their producer. A collaboration which would give birth to classics like ‘I’ll Be Good to You’, ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ and ‘Stomp’ among others. Meanwhile Louis came to work with luminaries such as Grover Washington, Jr. (‘Hydra’) and George Duke (‘Thief In The Night’). Not to mention Michael McDonald (‘I Keep Forgettin’) and Stanley Clarke (‘Time Exposure’) to name but a few…

Gone too soon: Louis Johnson

Indamixworldwide would like to express their deepest condolences to his family and friends…

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