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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone indifferent? Of those that approve, which albums are your faves? I quite like his side work with Monk as well as with Wes Montgomery.
 

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A Blowin' Session with Hank Mobley and John Coltrane.
Discovered Johnny Griffin through this album. His technique and freedom of expression is something else.
 

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Johnny Griffin is one of my all time tenor hero's. Have seen him live lots of times and have several CD's from his earliest recordings (with Lionel Hampton in the 40's, as second tenor besided Arnett Cobb) till his late European stuff.

I've posted a soundclip on YouTube of a tenor battle with Griff, Lockjaw and Arnett Cobb in The Netherlands in 1984, see this SOTW thread (it has a killing solo of Griff starting around 4:34):
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...kjaw-Davis-and-Johnny-Griffin-KILLING-VERSION!!!
or


From his CD's I like "Introducing Johnny Griffin" very much, see also:
- For CD info (and short sound-samples): http://www.amazon.com/Introducing-Johnny-Griffin/dp/B000MG2LR2
or
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, anyone dare suggest he's been underrated all these years? I've read reviews, both from the past and present where peeps diss the man claiming he "ends at the wrists" or just "sounds like cockroaches running up and down the keys" ! Just can't believe they can't hear past his speed and technique, there's a lot more going on than that! Maybe these people should try transcribing. analyzing and even playing one of his great solos. Fer cryin' out, whaddya gotta do in this life to please some people?......
 

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Discussion Starter #12
...."A Blowin' Session with Hank Mobley and John Coltrane"......

Yeah, actually great playing by all on that one, almost a pity Morgan and Mobley don't get more solo time ... Must say Griff's tone is not the best on that recording, some say he was too close to the mic, although there seems to be variations going on out there, some of the vinyl releases were apparently nasty sounding. For those who have see him live, which recordings do his tone the most justice?
 

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I have long thought that Griffin was the best fit of any tenor player for Monks music.
 

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It was related to me that just before Coltrane hit the scene in stride ('59, '60). Johnny Griffin was the "Top Cat" on the tenor.

I love "Introducing...", the Monk five Spot recordings ("In Action" and "Misterioso"), "the Congregation", "Salt Peanuts" (Black Lion), and "The Little Giant" are amongst my faves.
 

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Johnny Griffin was a fantastic player. The Kerry Dancers is one of my favorite albums.
Oh yeah! That is one of my all time favourites too! I also really like Way Out, with Philly Joe Jones and Kenny Drew...and of course: Blues for Dracula!
 

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I saw him in the '70s when he was unbelievable. I saw him at Yoshi's with Roy Hargrove's band right before he passed and he was still killin'.
 

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There used to be a really cool bootleg of him on the Urge 2 Burge website. Not sure if it is still up...but if it is, it is definitely worth checking out.
 

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...."A Blowin' Session with Hank Mobley and John Coltrane"......

Yeah, actually great playing by all on that one, almost a pity Morgan and Mobley don't get more solo time ... Must say Griff's tone is not the best on that recording, some say he was too close to the mic, although there seems to be variations going on out there, some of the vinyl releases were apparently nasty sounding.
Actually I don't find 'A Blowin Session' very good. Ofcourse it's good, but I would expect more from such a line-up then what I hear. Griffin sounds to me very up-tight on this session, like he wants to prove himself as the fastest tenor of all times (which he probably was), but he tries to hard. Most song tempo's are just not right (too fast) and it seems to me that Mobley and Coltrane are not relaxed and intimidated by Griff's show off playing. But again, maybe that's just me hearing this!

For those who have see him live, which recordings do his tone the most justice?
Actually Griffin had different sounds during his long career. He played an Otto Link Tone Master in the 40's and a big part of the 50's (like in 'Introducing' and 'A Blowing Session', but switched later to more modern Links (Florida and modern STM) with a big tip size (10* or bigger). His tone was always very strong, but he sounded at some recordings darker then at others.

Griff's sound as posted in the first clip in #10 comes close to how I remember him live (actually this clip is from a live concert that I saw back in 1984), but it's not on a commercial CD. I think he also sounds great on the CD 'Johnny Griffin Live at the Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen - Volume 1', see this link for the CD (and some short sound fragments):
http://www.amazon.com/Jazzhus-Montmartre-Copenhagen-Johnny-Griffin/dp/B00000C2GY
Griff plays here an amazing version of 'Indiana', where he solo's in all keys. I will put a sound clip on YouTube of that tune when I have some time to make a picture movie behind it. His sound on this CD is very big and dark.

Another for me very special Johnny Griffin CD was made with Dutch singer Rita Reys back in the 70's. The title of the LP and CD is 'That Old Feeling', see this link for more information:
http://newsodrome.com/jazz_news/1979-rita-reys-feat-johnny-griffin-that-old-feeling-24474605
On this CD you hear Griff in a more tradditional setting playing short and beautiful solo's behind the singer in mostly standards and ballads from the Great American Songbook. He plays and sounds really amazing on this album. I'm not sure if it's still available, didn't find any YouTube clips eather. Found a link with some free downloads, but didn't try it myself (I bought this CD years ago) and also don't know if it's trusted. But the music is great, it could be worth a try. See this link:
http://www.kat.ph/search/rita-reys-johnny-griffin-that-old-feeling-mp3-320kbps/
 
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