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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think this is the first (or one of the first) recorded solo's of Johnny Griffin, while playing in the Lionel Hampton band of early 1946.

He plays a great solo in 'Air Mail Special' at 2:13 in below clip, only 17 years old (and just went from alto to tenor). Wish I could sound like that... Oh, and don't forget to listen to the killing solo of Arnett Cobb at 4:27, already (!) 27 and a veteran at that time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC_s3ROtVNw

Those guys played so well so young...

Enjoy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, thanks for your comment WSR (the first one after 4 years LOL) :).

Floyd has for sure a good ear (the daughter of my partner is only interested in singers and doesn't even listen)!

Personally I love the solo's of both players, great examples of the 40's way of playing. Griff still heavy influenced by the superb swing of Cobb, but already with one foot into more modern stuff.

By the way: in 1951 Griffin was playing baritone saxophone in an R&B septet led by former bandmate Arnett Cobb.
 

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Those guys played so well so young...
It's like Charlie Parker said in that interview w/ Paul Desmond :

There was nothing to do but play .. and we had a lot of fun trying



That aside Johnny started on clarinet and then went to the saxophone which was
a common approach in those days - if you became proficient on clarinet the saxophone
would come much easier at least technically .

Also Griff went to DuSable high school in Chicago and studied under a rigorous
taskmaster named Capt. Walter Dyett. Many great jazzmen went to DuSable
like Gene Ammons, John Gilmore, Nat King Cole, Clifford Jordan and studied
with Capt Dyett. From what I've read he strongly encouraged his students to
play a variety of music so that they could become professionals .

Chicago was a competitive city - it was sink or swim - there was no faking your way
thru anything. You had to be able to deal with the music. Also in an era like this
with no tv or internet, video games, etc. you had far fewer distractions and things
which could eat up your time.

If you really wanted to get good it wasn't that difficult but it was probably easier to
stay focused. Also there were so many places to play in Chicago, Detroit, NY
Philadelphia,Cleveland, Los Angeles and so on that you could be sessioning ALL the
time. How can you not hone your abilities under these circumstances ?
 

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I picked up around ten years ago a 50's recording of Ira Sullivan and Johnny Griffin with a Chicago rhythm section that smoked from the word go. Ira of course played brass first then saxes so on this he doubled on trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, alto, tenor sax, alto horn and maybe kazoo too. Johnny played alto, tenor and baritone sax blowing the hard Chicago way always on top of the beat and not just running changes but really tight piano like chording changes with a shot of the Blues.
 
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That was a great listen.
I'd love to hear Griff on Baritone!
Does anyone have a link to a recording of Johhny Griffin on Bari?.
Arnett Cobb And His Orchestra

Willie Moore (trumpet) Dickie Harris (trombone) Arnett Cobb (tenor sax) Johnny Griffin (baritone sax) George Rhodes (piano) Walter Buchanan (bass) Al Walker (drums)
NYC, August 7, 1951

CO46835 Cocktails For Two OKeh 6823; Jazz Circle Basel (Swi) JCB-A1/JCB-B1
CO46836 Walkin' Home OKeh 6823; Epic EG 37315; Jazz Circle Basel (Swi) JCB-A1/JCB-B1
CO46837 Jumpin' The Blues OKeh 6872; Epic EG 37315; Jazz Circle Basel (Swi) JCB-A1/JCB-B1
CO46838 I'm In The Mood For Love -

* Jazz Circle Basel (Swi) JCB-A1/JCB-B1 Jumpin' The Blues With Arnett Cobb His Tenorsax And His Orchestra 1950-1951
* Epic EG 37315 Various Artists - OKeh Jazz
* OKeh 6823 Arnett Cobb - Cocktails For Two / Walkin' Home
* OKeh 6872 Arnett Cobb - Jumpin' The Blues / I'm In The Mood For Love

[video]https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=arnett+coob+and+his+orchestra[/video]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That was a great listen.
I'd love to hear Griff on Baritone!
Does anyone have a link to a recording of Johhny Griffin on Bari?.
Acoording to the discography of Jonnnny Griffin only one session was recorded with Griff on baritione, like WSR also posted above. It's the one from 1951.

Discography Griffin: http://www.jazzdisco.org/johnny-griffin/discography/ (search for 1951)

Here is a clip of 'Walkin' Home' from that session with Griffin in the background, but I think he is here on tenor and not on baritone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ksq_NfB_dU
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I picked up around ten years ago a 50's recording of Ira Sullivan and Johnny Griffin with a Chicago rhythm section that smoked from the word go. Ira of course played brass first then saxes so on this he doubled on trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, alto, tenor sax, alto horn and maybe kazoo too. Johnny played alto, tenor and baritone sax blowing the hard Chicago way always on top of the beat and not just running changes but really tight piano like chording changes with a shot of the Blues.
Wow, would love to hear that one (I have some stuff from Ira in a battle with Red Rodney and that is killing). :)

Found that recording of Griffin and Ira also in Griff's discography (it's from 1959):
http://www.jazzdisco.org/johnny-griffin/discography/ (search for 'Ira')

Ira Sullivan Quintet

Ira Sullivan (trumpet, alto, tenor, baritone sax, peck horn) Johnny Griffin (alto, tenor, baritone sax) Jodie Christian (piano) Victor Sproles (bass) Wilbur Campbell (drums)
Chicago, IL, July 26, 1959

Wilbur's Tune Delmark DL-402
Bluzinbee -

* Delmark DL-402 Ira Sullivan - Blue Stroll
Unfortunately couldn't find any of the two numbers back on YouTube.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Acoording to the discography of Jonnnny Griffin only one session was recorded with Griff on baritione, like WSR also posted above. It's the one from 1951.

Discography Griffin: http://www.jazzdisco.org/johnny-griffin/discography/ (search for 1951)

Here is a clip of 'Walkin' Home' from that session with Griffin in the background, but I think he is here on tenor and not on baritone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ksq_NfB_dU
Here another clip of that session (Cocktails For Two) and I think I hear a (far away) baritone here in the backings (no bari solo):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCnJDldysRQ
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Found that recording of Griffin and Ira also in Griff's discography (it's from 1959):
http://www.jazzdisco.org/johnny-griffin/discography/ (search for 'Ira')

Unfortunately couldn't find any of the two numbers back on YouTube.
Above link only gives two numbers, but this link gives four numbers from that session:
https://www.discogs.com/Ira-Sullivan-With-Johnny-Griffin-Blue-Stroll/release/5661400

- Tracklist:
A1 - Wilbur's Tune - 5:54
A2 - My Old Flame - 6:33
A3 - Blue Stroll - 5:45
B - Bluzinbee - 17:00

Here is A2 (My Old Flame) of that session with Ira Sullivan on baritone sax, no Griffin in this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f53WuXqABt8

Here they even mention six recorded tracks (including streaming links to Spotify):
http://www.allmusic.com/album/blue-stroll-mw0000269751
 

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Wonderful! Also kind of depressing. Why? Because not too long ago I soloed on this tune at a big band gig and I'm pretty sure 17 year Grif's solo was a lot better than what I played. Sigh ... whaddyagonna do, the guy was so great.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wonderful! Also kind of depressing. Why? Because not too long ago I soloed on this tune at a big band gig and I'm pretty sure 17 year Grif's solo was a lot better than what I played. Sigh ... whaddyagonna do, the guy was so great.
Just enjoy your own level of playing, only a few Griff's per generation arise! :)
 

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It's easy to forget as we get older (at least for me) that many of our jazz heroes were out on the road at 16, 17, or 18 years old. They were certainly not sitting in a university at 24 yrs old getting a masters degree in jazz performance.
 

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It's easy to forget as we get older (at least for me) that many of our jazz heroes were out on the road at 16, 17, or 18 years old. They were certainly not sitting in a university at 24 yrs old getting a masters degree in jazz performance.
For sure!

They learned the hard way (the 'street' University) and in those times also had the opportunity to learn it that way faster then now.
 
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For sure!

They learned the hard way (the 'street' University) and in those times also had the opportunity to learn it that way faster then now.
Exactly what Sinatra said in an interview, when he spoke about his time traveling and singing with the big bands. I can imagine he drove those guy's crazy with his questions.
 
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