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Johnny Griffin

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)

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Henri Texier: Chance

Read "Chance" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

French double bassist Henri Texier gained prominence back in the early 1960s, when he was working in Paris playing alongside American expatriates such as Bud Powell or Johnny Griffin. Over the years he has played with many international greats and proven a prolific composer as well as an unparalleled foundation on bass. Yet, one could argue ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

50th Anniversary Blue Notes for May

Read "50th Anniversary Blue Notes for May" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Time for 50th anniversaries of Blue Note recordings from May 1970 (logically enough!): Lonnie Smith's Live at Club Mozambique; Donald Byrd's Electric Byrd; Joe Williams' Worth Waiting For and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra (Consummation). Then there's some 21st century music (Jane Ira Bloom, Andy Hunter, Tony Kofi and Brian Bromberg), as well as previously unreleased ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi: Il Respiro Profondo di un racconto in musica

Read "Enrico Pieranunzi: Il Respiro Profondo di un racconto in musica" reviewed by Paolo Marra

Se come scriveva il poeta brasiliano Vinicius De Moraes “La vita è l'arte dell'incontro" allora può succedere che l'intervista con uno dei più apprezzati pianisti italiani, Enrico Pieranunzi, diventi senza una ragione evidente una lunga e piacevole conversazione per parlare della sua lunga carriera artistica scandita da altrettanti incredibili incontri che nel tempo hanno cucito i ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Saxattack & More

Read "Saxattack & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Well, not every track is saxed, but we've got some heavyweights here: Johnny Griffin, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, Branford Marsalis, Charlie Parker, Benny Carter, and Sidney Bechet. Breathers from pianists Brad Mehldau, Kris Davis and Bill Evans; as well as the Uptown Jazz Orchestra from New Orleans; trumpeters Roy Eldridge, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis; and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Keith Oxman: Two Cigarettes In the Dark

Read "Two Cigarettes In the Dark" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What's a sure way to make a pretty good tenor saxophone-led quartet even better? Simple. Invite a second tenor and make sure his name is Houston Person. That's what Denver-based Keith Oxman has done to further enhance his quartet's splendid new album, Two Cigarettes in the Dark, sharing the front line with Person on six of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Keith Oxman: Two Cigarettes In the Dark

Read "Two Cigarettes In the Dark" reviewed by Edward Blanco

With the impressive Two Cigarettes in the Dark, Denver-based saxophonist Keith Oxman delivers what is most probably one of the finest albums on the contemporary jazz scene today. Imagine being in a dark room where you see nothing and suddenly two cigarettes are lit; naturally your attention will be focused on the cigarettes and the smoke ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

George Garzone: Sax In The City

Read "George Garzone: Sax In The City" reviewed by Jim Worsley

George Garzone is not the mayor of the city of Boston. If he was appointed to a position it would more likely be king. He is, at the very least, the toast of the town. This isn't news. King George has reigned with a firm grasp of his mighty tenor saxophone for close to half a ...

ARTICLE: HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Craft Recording's "Chet" is a Rare Win for Baker

Read "Craft Recording's "Chet" is a Rare Win for Baker" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

"There's a little white cat out here who's going to eat you up." —Charlie Parker (to Miles Davis) Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Two trumpet players born three years apart. Both unusually handsome and slight of build. Both lacking, as trumpeters, the qualities most often associated with those brass alphas of the jazz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chet Baker: Chet

Read "Chet" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the early 1950s, the rural Oklahoman Chet Baker established prominent connections in the jazz world; gigs with Charlie Parker and Stan Getz led to his first recordings. The trappings of both musicians' circles were dusted with heroin and Baker's career breaks coincided with his introduction to the disease that would stifle his musical development and ...


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