Monday, October 03, 2005

Johnny Griffin

"I like to play fast. I get excited, and I have to sort of control myself, restrain myself. But when the rhythm section gets cooking, I want to explode."- Johnny Griffin

Once hailed as the World's Fastest Saxophone Player, Johnny Griffin was one of the hardest boppers of the time. Getting his break with Lionel Hampton at the age of 16, Griffin had brief stints with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Thelonious Monk. Griffin's solos were often blues inspired and often played at break neck speeds. Although age has slowed down his playing a bit, he still continues to tour and play around Europe.

The first track is "The Way You Look Tonight" from Blowin' Session. This track contains an allstar cast of hard boppers including Griffin, Coltrane, and Lee Morgan on trumpet. I don't think Frank Sinatra ever sang this song this fast.
The second track is "Greens at the Chicken Shack" from Roy Hargrove and the Tenors of Our Time. This track shows off Johnny Griffin's blues roots.

MP3: "The Way You Look Tonight"
from Blowin' Session (Blue Note, 1957)
MP3: "Greens at the Chicken Shack"
from Roy Hargrove Quintet with the Tenors of Our Time (Verve, 1994)


Anonymous Jenni said...

I'm glad I stumbled across your site. Thanks for reminding me of something I once Loved. Great Site...Rock On!

4:05 PM  

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