Albert “Budd” Johnson III was an American jazz saxophonist known for his versatility and proficiency in both swing and bebop styles. Born on December 14, 1910, in Dallas, Texas, Johnson began playing the saxophone at a young age and quickly developed a reputation as a skilled and innovative musician.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Johnson played with a number of big bands, including those led by Earl Hines and Benny Carter. He was known for his ability to switch seamlessly between tenor and alto saxophones and for his distinctive sound and improvisational skills.
In the 1950s, Johnson became a fixture on the New York jazz scene, playing with a number of other legendary musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman. He also recorded several albums as a bandleader, including “Blues a la Mode” (1958) and “The Stanley Dance Sessions” (1959).
Throughout his career, Johnson was known for his versatility and his ability to adapt to different styles and genres of music. He played with equal proficiency in swing, bebop, and even rock and roll styles, and he was widely respected for his skill as both a performer and a composer.
Johnson’s contributions to jazz were recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1993. He passed away on October 20, 1984, in New York City.
Today, Johnson is remembered as one of the greatest saxophonists in jazz history, and his legacy as a performer and innovator continues to inspire new generations of musicians. His dedication to his craft and his versatility as a musician make him a true icon of the saxophone and a beloved figure in the jazz community.
Page last updated 3/26/2023.