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Phillip Johnston

As a Guest

3 segments

The Microscopic Septet, Enlarged

Musicians and composers Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester of The Microscopic Septet have reunited for the release of their two-volume History of the Micros: Seven Men in Neckties & Surrealistic Swing. The Microscopic Septet composed and recorded the Fresh Air theme song.


Modern Jazz Composer Phillip Johnston

Johnston is best known for his work with the Microscopic Septet from 1980 to 1992. His latest band, Big Trouble, has just released the album, "Flood At The Ant Farm." He has a reputation as one of contemporary music's most versatile composers. In addition to playing the saxophone, Johnston has a growing interest in scoring music for film, T.V., and radio programs. He has written the theme music for "Fresh Air." He has also written music for other NPR programs, MTV, and Comedy Central.


A Big Sound from the Microscopic Septet

Joel Forrester and Phillip Johnston founded the NYC-based jazz combo. The group had trouble finding an audience early on, in part because of their unique blending of styles. Forrester and Johnston join Fresh Air to talk about their influences, and the logistics of keeping such a large group together.

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