Eugene Lamont Johnson a.k.a E Lamont Johnson or Lamont Johnson holds the distinction of being the first internationally recognized fretless bassist in R&B music. Born April 20th 1955 in Highland Park, Michigan. Lamont rose to prominence as a session musician on Gloster Williams &The King Vision’s 1977 gospel album project “Together” (Gospel Roots -5005). In the same year Lamont featured as part of the celebrated Detroit based band Brainstorm their best-selling 1977 album “Stormin’” for Tabu Records. Brainstorm was initially formed during 1975 by bandleader and saxophonist Charles ‘Chuck’ Overton, and included lead vocalist Belita Woods, Lamont Johnson on Fretless bass, Renell Gonsalves on drums, Trenita ‘Treaty’ Womack on percussion, flute and backing vocals, Bob Ross (a.k.a Professor RJ Ross) on keyboards, Gerald ‘Jerry’ Kent on guitar, Jeryl Bright on trombone and ‘Leaping’ Larry Sims on trumpet and flugelhorn. The album was recorded during 1976 and released the following year. It contained the disco hit “Loving Is Really My Game” the popular “Wake Up And Be Somebody” and the radio hit “This Must Be Heaven” a beautifully crafted ballad featuring the lead vocals of Lamont which still receives continued airplay to this day. Lamont did not feature on the band’s two subsequent album projects “Journey To The Light” (Tabu 35327) in 1978 and “Funky Entertainment” (Tabu 35749) in 1979.
The year 1978 was to prove to be one of the most prolific of Lamont’s recording career, playing bass on three studio albums. Firstly, on Hamilton Bohannon’s “On My Way” (Mercury SRM-i-3710), Jimmy McKee’s “First Time Out” (Champion- 8083N5) and Keith Barrows “Physical Attraction” (Columbia JC-35597) albums respectively. The final project of that year would be Lamont’s own album project “Music Of The Sun” (Tabu-35455) featuring Lamont on both bass guitar and vocals, the album also spawned two lead 45’s “Sister Fine/Yours Truly, Discreetly” and “Hey Girl/Differently”.
During 1979 Lamont would feature as a guest bassist on a further two studio album projects, firstly the self-titled debut album of fellow Detroit musicians Chapter 8 (Ariola 50056) followed by another self-titled album “Nightflyte” (Ariola 50060) who’s line-up included Howard Johnson prior to him embarking on a solo career. During 1980 Lamont began work on a second solo album for Tabu. Two lead 45 singles were recorded “Rock You Baby/Something More” (Tabu ZS9-5521) followed by the album’s title song “Rhumba” backed with the modern soul favourite “Masta Luva” (ZS9-5525) for whatever reason CBS/Tabu decided to shelve the remainder of the project. Later recording projects to feature Lamont instrumental talents were Was Not Was ‘s “Tell Me I’m Dreaming and Robert Lowe’s “Double Dip” jazz funk album. Later solo CD album projects from Lamont, “This Must Be Heaven” arrived in 2004 and “Amore’ Dance” in 2001 both on his own Allee Records Label. From the mid 70’s through to the present day, Lamont has been a notable electric bass instructor in the Detroit area and beyond. As well as the previously mentioned projects, Lamont and many of his prot’eg’es work can be found on many other world renown artists recording projects the most notable being, Earth Wind & Fire, The Dramatics, Anita Baker, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Phyllis Hyman, Beyonce, Howard Johnson, David T. Walker, Aretha Franklyn, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, The Temptations, The Winans amongst others.
Fast forward to the present and Soul Junction have licensed two previously unissued dance orientated Lamont Johnson produced compositions for this 45sinlge release with more to come. Under the project/artists name of “Lamont Johnson & Eugene” the recordings feature several different local Detroit musicians and vocalists. The a-side is a male vocally led early 90’s mid-tempo feel good dance number. While the b-side in contrast is a more synthesized bass driven 80’s female dancer which should appeal to the Boogie crowd,
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|01.||Let’s Go Dance Tonight||Listen|
|01.||Burnin’ for Your Love|