Johnny Griffin, little giant of the tenor

July 26, 2008 at 5:35 pm (jazz, Jim D)

R.I.P. Johnny Griffin, 24 April 1928 – 25 July 2008

“Athough he is fully conversant with the tenor tradition of Hawkins, Byas, Webster and Young, it has often been remarked how close in spirit Griffin’s playing is to that of Charlie Parker. The headlong rush of ideas, and the rhythmic variety and freedom that go with them, all point in this direction. In addition his tone combines a vocalised sound with a slightly hysterical edge that, at his best, can evoke almost uncontrollable exhileration -except perhaps for other tenor players, since Griffin is one of the fastest and most accurate ever on his instrument.” – Brian Priestley,  Jazz- The Rough Guide, 1995.

Here’s Johnny… with one of the few tenorists who could keep up with him: Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis (1921-1986). Johnny’s the little guy on the left who solos second:


  1. Jim Denham said,

    The great Doug Ramsey wrote this at “Rifftides” on the occassion of Johnny’s 80th birthday:

  2. Crazy28 said,

    It could be that Afrigator is not the preferred blog listing for bloggers in these countries. ,

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