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The Best of Johnny Griffin

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Album Review

Nick Phillips compiled this chronologically arranged nine-track overview of the career of "The Little Giant," Johnny Griffin, as a leader and as a sideman for the Riverside, Jazzland, Prestige, and Galaxy catalogs. The recording dates mainly range from 1958-1962, though the final track, a lovely version of "Autumn Leaves," comes from a 1978 session. There is only one original on the set, the wonderful "63rd Street Theme" from the album The Little Giant, in 1959. Other albums represented here are Way Out!, The Little Giant, Johnny Griffin Sextet, Tough Tenors, and The Tenor Scene with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Thelonious Monk's Thelonious in Action, the great Big Soul Band session from 1960, Wes Montgomery's Full House, and Return of the Griffin from 1978. The highlights of the set include the big band's version of "Wade in the Water," the blazing version of "Cherokee," and the reading of Lester Young's "Tickle Toe." Other highlights — though non-musical ones — are the insightful and engaging — as well as authoritative — liner notes by author and critic Ashley Khan.

Customer Reviews

Oh My!!

This is probly the BEST jazz peice i have EVER heard!! I myself play Saxophone, and i am inspired in so many new levels!!


Born: April 24, 1928 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the all-time great tenor saxophonists, Johnny Griffin will go down in the annals of jazz as a performer easily able to negotiate the tricky harmonic changes and swift tempos of modern music. He'll also be remembered as a player who could masterfully interpret tender ballads, rivaling Ben Webster in that regard. Born John Arnold Griffin III in Chicago, Illinois, on April 24, 1928, he resided on the South Side of the Second City with his mother, who was a singer, and father, who played cornet....
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The Best of Johnny Griffin, Johnny Griffin
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