Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year!


I want to help

Johnny Griffin

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.”

Read more

56 Photos

Albums

Videos

Similar

Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy Gillespie
trumpet
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Art Blakey Art Blakey
drums
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Dexter Gordon Dexter Gordon
sax, tenor
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor
Ben Webster Ben Webster
sax, tenor

Premium Profiles

Anton Schwartz Anton Schwartz
sax, tenor
Rob Reddy Rob Reddy
saxophone
Tommy Smith Tommy Smith
sax, tenor
Maureen Choi Maureen Choi
violin
LJ Folk LJ Folk
vocalist
Synia Carroll Synia Carroll
vocalist
Jen de Ness Jen de Ness
vocalist
Suzanne Grzanna Suzanne Grzanna
sax, alto
Tony Adamo Tony Adamo
vocalist
Behn Gillece Behn Gillece
vibraphone
Jack DeSalvo Jack DeSalvo
guitar

All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.