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Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor

Born: April 24, 1928 | Died: July 25, 2008

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). He had no trouble finding work there. He played in radio and television studio bands, was installed for long engagements in clubs such as the Blue Note in Paris, played in countless jazz festivals, and continued his recording career unabated. He did everything but return to the United States. And he missed it: “Europeans love jazz very much, but American audiences respond to the music in a really special way.”...
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My Blue Note Obsession

CD/LP/Track Review

Extended Analysis

CD/LP/Track Review

Multiple Reviews

More articles about Johnny Griffin

Music

Featured recording “Live at Ronnie Scott's”

Live at Ronnie Scott's

In + Out Records
2010
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    Live At Ronnie Scott's

    In + Out Records
    2010
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    Johnny Griffin: From Johnny Griffin With Love

    Storyville Records
    2009
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    The Best Of Johnny Griffin

    Concord Music Group
    2009
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    Lady Heavy Bottom's Waltz

    Scandia
    2008
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    The Congregation

    Blue Note Records
    2007
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    Pisces

    Riverside
    2004
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    Music From The Motion Picture: Between A Smile And A Tear (A Tribute To...

    Scandia
    2004
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