“Three old horns find unexpectedly eccentric new voices in this soft-spoken mischief. There is an acerbic charm and emotional detachment at work that is cool, consistent, smartly calculated and positioned just so between straight jazz (“Apples”) and uneasy awkwardness. The ensembles often have a lovely quirky elegance. Worth the risk.” – John McDonough, Downbeat magazine
The Darren Johnston Quintet features Ben Goldberg on clarinet, and Sheldon Brown on tenor sax and bass clarinet. Their first recording on Clean Feed Records, The Edge Of The Forest, included Smith Dobson V on drums, and Devin Hoff on bass, and for one tune, special guest Rob Reich on accordion. This recording enjoyed rave reviews, including 4 stars by four different critics in Downbeat Magazine’s “Hot Box.”
Other musicians who have gone under the banner of the “Darren Johnston Quintet” have included Ches Smith, Trevor Dunn, Bill McHenry, Marty Ehrlich, Oscar Noriega, Jeb Bishop, Dave Rempis, Jordan Glenn, Doug Stuart, David Ewell, and others.