Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Johnny Griffin Sextet
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
A(nother) Blowin' Session
Douglas T Martin | Alpharetta, GA USA | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Griffin, once promoted as "the world's fastest saxophonist" and leader of the set "A Blowin' Session" with guest saxophonists Hank Mobley and John Coltrane, turns out a great performance on his Riverside debut "Johnny Griffin Sextet". The sextet in question includes the Griffin on tenor, Kenny Drew on piano, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. Baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams and trumpeter Donald Byrd sit in as guests. Kicking off with drummer Wilbur Campbell's "Stix' Trix", the 3-horn front line is as tight as you could want. "What's New" starts off softly, with Griffin stating the theme and taking first solo honors. Byrd's trumpet gets the second solo, followed by Adams baritone (a nice solo but the sax sounds as if it's on the edge of squeaking). Kenny Drew plays a solo that sounds like cascading raindrops before Griffin comes back in to play briefly before taking an unaccompanied cadenza.
An almost martial beat from Philly Joe Jones starts off Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody 'N You"; Griffin joins for a brief duet before the rest of the rhythm section piles on for an almost-calypso rendition of the standard tune. Almost as quickly as they jumped in, the band drops out for an accapella bass solo from Wilbur Ware, then rejoins for a brightly upbeat piano solo. Again the band drops out, leaving Griffin to solo while Ware establishes the changes. A drum break from Philly Joe leads into a session of trading fours between the drum legend and Griffin. The performance then changes into an exaggerated bossa nova before finishing. There's a lot of music packed into the song's six-minute length. And you'll never notice that Adams and Byrd sit this one out.
Byrd and Adams return for a loping version of John Hines' "Johnny G.G." Griffin gets in some great blues riffs during his solo, backed by Basie-style licks from the other two horns. During Byrd's solo, Philly Joe briefly doubles the tempo while Ware keeps the previous tempo - then returns to normal (the same for Adams solo, too). After Ware's bass solo, the drums drop out and another bass & tenor duet takes place before the rest of the group jumps back in, swinging as hard and loud as a group twice its size.
Griffin's "Catharsis" gives everyone a chance to get their licks in before the recording ends. "Cathasis" is just an old fashioned blowing session - everyone gets to take a turn on this charging bop number. As has happened more than a few times on this recording, the band drops out for a tenor sax/bass duet. This just makes it that much more exciting when the rest of the band jumps back in. The Johnny Griffin Sextet, as recorded here, was a perfect match of ensemble players and soloists comparable only to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. A great bop recording."
The Best Johnny Griffin
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 07/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike many jazz artists, Johnny Griffin joined the Riverside label in 1958 after a stint at Blue Note, and not the other way around as was more commonplace. And I find this to be the best of the albums he recorded for either label. Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams join Griffin on the frontline and they're both in top form. The rhythm section of Kenny Drew, Wilbur Ware and Philly Joe Jones are stellar, and they propel you through the album. In fact when you get to the end of the last track "Catharsis," you feel like there needs to be another song because the album has been building and intensifying for the last 40 minutes. A good way to solve this problem is to play it again! Definitely recommended."
Lester L. Carter | PHILA , PA | 06/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't familiar with Johnny Griffin's work. So, this is the cd I am starting with. I am a fan of Donald Byrd and Philly Joe Jones. This was a good start. Put this on my wake-up disc player. Every morning I can concentrate on a different composition. And so far so good."