Jimmy McGriff: Late 1969


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In the 1960s, organist Jimmy McGriff had a more pointed attack on the keyboard than many Hammond organists of the period. His playing was percussive and funky, with a heavy dose of the blues. McGriff was childhood friends with organ pioneer Jimmy Smith, and organist Richard “Groove" Holmes gave him lessons. He also studied at the Juilliard School of Music and with Smith and Milt Buckner among others. In the 1960s, McGriff became the house organist at clubs in Philadelphia, backing marquee musicians and singers who toured through town. McGriff's punctuating organ style resulted in several soul-jazz in the '60s, and he joined the Solid State label in 1966 as the label's premiere artist.

In the late 1969 (according to Jet magazine), McGriff was on tour in Europe with Leo Johnson (ts), Larry Frazier (g) and Jesse Kilpatrick (d). Here they are in Paris playing Keep Loose...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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