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Musician

Johnny Griffin

Born:

Since Johnny Griffin's precocious professional debut with Lionel Hampton in 1945, his best work has been guided by spontaneity. One of the fastest and least inhibited of tenor men, Griffin loves the challenges and excitement of the jam session. Back in 1963, despite the solid reputation he had established as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Thelonious Monk’s group (and as co-leader of a band with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis), Griffin felt forced to flee to Europe. During the Sixties, Griffin was one of an elite corps of resident American jazzmen in Europe, a group that included Kenny Clarke, Arthur Taylor, Horace Parlan, Kenny Drew, and, of course, Dexter Gordon (“Dexter’s family to me,” he smiles)

Album

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition)

Label: Rhino
Released: 2022
Track listing: Disc 1: Evidence; In Walked Bud; Blue Monk; I Mean You; Rhythm-A-Ning; Purple Shades. Disc 2: Evidence (Take 2); In Walked Bud (Take 2); Blue Monk (Take 9); I Mean You (Take 3); Rhythm-A- Ning (Take 2); Purple Shades (Take 4).

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Article: Book Excerpts

JD Allen: Just Keep Going

Read "JD Allen: Just Keep Going" reviewed by AAJ Staff


The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1, “JD Allen: Just Keep Going" from Philip Freeman's Ugly Beauty: Jazz in The 21st Century (ZerO Books, 2022). Queens, New York seems purposely designed to confuse travelers. It's January 2, 2020, a brisk but sunny day, and I'm to meet saxophonist JD Allen at Samurai ...

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Article: Album Review

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition)

Read "Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition)" reviewed by Chris May


Rhino's new series of reissues of historic albums from the late 1950s/early 1960s hit the ground running in 2020 with John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1960). Spring 2022 has already seen Charles Mingus' Trio (Jubilee, 1957) and Coltrane's My Favorite Things (Atlantic, 1961). Hot on their heels comes Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious ...

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Article: Album Review

George Freeman: Everybody Say Yeah!

Read "Everybody Say Yeah!" reviewed by Mark Corroto


It took a long time (much too long) for listeners to recognize the brilliance that was Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson. The New York-centric jazz cognoscenti have often overlooked talent that comes from Chicago, and artists were often drawn to The Big Apple to seek the recognition they deserved. Beginning in the '90s, though, the focal point ...

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Article: Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Reflections/Introspection: The Music Of Thelonious Monk

Read "Reflections/Introspection: The Music Of Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Reflections/Introspection... follows-up guitarist Charlie Ballentine's Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan, the guitarist's tribute to another (and very different type of) iconoclastic modern composer and one of the best albums of 2018. He absolutely bounces through this double-LP (one trio, one quartet) on a merry joyride through the compositions of “the onliest Monk."

Album

The NDR Hamburg Studio Recordings

Label: Jazzline Classics
Released: 2021
Track listing: West Coast Blues; Four On Six; Last Of The Wine; Here’s That Rainy Day; Opening 2; Blue Grass; Blue Monk; The Leopard Walks; Twisted Blues; West Coast Blues (Encore).

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Article: From the Inside Out

Rediscovery and Re-Creation, and an NYC Farewell

Read "Rediscovery and Re-Creation, and an NYC Farewell" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Greg Abate Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron Whaling City Sound 2021 Musicians will sometimes honor another musician who influenced their lives or work with a tribute or memorial recording after that influential musician has passed on. There's an abundance of first-rate music on the ...

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Article: Profile

Gaga, Bennett, The Count, Presidents: Harold Jones Drums Across History

Read "Gaga, Bennett, The Count, Presidents: Harold Jones Drums Across History" reviewed by Arthur R George


When Tony Bennett stepped past the twilight of Alzheimer's onto the stage of Radio City Music Hall in jny: New York City in August 2021, drummer Harold Jones was there ready for him, as he had been for Bennett over the past seventeen years, in a friendship going back to 1968. Lady Gaga, the popstar recreated ...

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Article: Album Review

Doug Lawrence: Doug Lawrence & Friends

Read "Doug Lawrence & Friends" reviewed by Jack Bowers


If the name Doug Lawrence doesn't sound familiar, the name Count Basie surely should. What is the Lawrence- Basie connection? Well, for more than two decades Lawrence has been the featured tenor saxophone soloist with the renowned and still- active Count Basie Orchestra, a chair once impressively occupied by the likes of Lester Young, Eddie “Lockjaw" ...


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