Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
172

Johnny Griffin: Johnny Griffin

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count Views
Johnny Griffin: Johnny Griffin Johnny Griffin was a bop-influenced player who was capable of handling the rigors of both Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and a stint with Thelonious Monk. Often given credit as the world's fastest tenor player (at least for a time), Griffin enjoyed a good tenor battle as much as the next guy, but he also could deliver a solid quartet album such as this one.

1956's Johnny Griffin is pretty typical mid-fifties fare: a few standards, a couple of originals, and a blues or two, comparable to albums by Dexter Gordon or Hank Mobley from the same era. There's nothing here that Griffin can't handle, from the bouncy "I Cried For You" to the tricky "Riff Raff," to the catchy original blues "Satin Wrap," which is a great almost-standard. The members of the rhythm section, which features Junior Mance and Wilbur Ware, are veterans who know how to give a player like Griffin the support he needs to really take off, and Mance really gives it all he has when given the chance to play over blues changes.

However, Griffin still gets the most solo time. He is indeed a fast player, yet each note is distinct and clear in the endless runs he creates, never giving the impression of rushing things. The only drawback is the ballads, where Griffin starts out letting the notes hang, but soon falls back to flooding the line with notes where a delicate approach would have been more appropriate.

Be that as it may, Griffin has created a fine album that is a good example of the bread and butter of many saxophonists from the mid-fifties.


Track Listing: 1. I Cried For You 2. Satin Wrap 3. Yesterdays 4. Riff-Raff 5. Bee-Ees 6. The Boy Next Door 7. These Foolish Things 8. Lollypop.

Personnel: Johnny Griffin - tenor saxophone; Junior Mance - piano; Wilbur Ware - bass; Buddy Smith -drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


My Blue Note Obsession
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live At Ronnie Scott's
Live At Ronnie Scott's
In + Out Records
2010
buy
Johnny Griffin: From Johnny Griffin With Love
Johnny Griffin: From...
Storyville Records
2009
buy
The Best Of Johnny Griffin
The Best Of Johnny...
Concord Music Group
2009
buy
[no cover]
Lady Heavy Bottom's...
Scandia
2008
buy
The Congregation
The Congregation
Blue Note Records
2007
buy
Johnny Griffin
Johnny Griffin
Verve Music Group
2004
buy
Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy Gillespie
trumpet
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Art Blakey Art Blakey
drums
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Dexter Gordon Dexter Gordon
sax, tenor
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.