My Music


2023 repress; Be With Records present a reissue of Samuel Jonathan Johnson's My Music, originally released in 1978. My Music is a stellar spiritual soul/jazz-funk gem, recorded by keyboardist-singer Samuel Jonathan Johnson in 1978. The epitome of a cult classic, it didn't do much upon its release but steadily found an audience over the decades that followed. This is music that shares the jazzy R&B DNA of contemporaries like Roy Ayers and is an intoxicating blend of mellow moments and more groove-heavy tracks. Spacey keys and lush production give it a luxurious, enveloping warmth. My Music opens with the gorgeous title track: an indulgent slow jam opus. Introducing you to Johnson's compelling musical vision, it features a rich mélange of production techniques. Dripping in strings, horns, backing singers, popping funk bass lines and swooshing synth waves, it's an unusually structured cosmic two-stepper that has an irrepressible groove. Accordingly, it's been a favorite with the diggers and it was sampled by The Alchemist for Jadakiss's "We Gonna Make It". The up-tempo "Sweet Love" bubbles over with joy, its uplifting lyrics backed by infectious bass and jazzy Fender Rhodes lines. It follows a cover of "What The World Need's Now Is Love", taken at a funereal pace that transforms it into a heartfelt plea for love and understanding. After a full-minute-long opening of lush cinematic strings and horns, "Because I Love You" makes space for Samuel's voice, accompanied by some keys and just a sprinkle of guitar. It builds back up and then mellows its way out to a jazz lounge finish (in all the right ways). The feel-good ebullience of the Stevie Wonder-esque "It Ain't Easy" closes out the LP's first side. The second side bursts open with the heavy bounce and disco-funk basslines of "You", a slightly off-beat string-laden dancer with insistent horns and a piano-assisted groove. Next up is "Just Us", a legendary steppers track that could be heard oozing out of deep soul radios and funk sound systems back in the late '80s. "Yesterdays and Tomorrow" is a moving original ballad that is followed by an exquisite high-stepping paean to mom in the form of "Thank You Mother Dear". The thumping easy-glide of "Reason For The Reason" brings the album to a close. Mastered by Simon Francis and cut by Pete Norman. Sleeve artwork restored by Be With Records. 140 gram vinyl.