Jimmy McGriff

Organ master Jimmy McGriff may have studied formally at Juilliard and at Philadelphia's Combe College of Music, but there's nothing fancy about his music. It's basic to the bone, always swinging and steeped in blues and gospel. McGriff's brand of jazz is about feeling. “That's the most important thing,” he says.

Blues has been the backbone of most of the major jazz organists, including Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, but throughout his 42-year recording career, McGriff has stuck closer to the blues than any of them. “People are always classifying me as a jazz organist, but I'm more of a blues organ player,” he insists. “That's really what I feel.”

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