Riverside, 1960. 33 1/3 rpm, deep groove
vinyl condition: G+ (some surface noise)
| A pioneering figure in hard bop, Johnny Griffin recorded prolifically as a bandleader in addition to stints with pianist Thelonious Monk, drummer Art Blakey, in partnership with fellow tenor Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and as a member of the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band after he moved to Europe in the 1960s.
Griffin moved to France in 1963 and to the Netherlands in 1978. His relocation was the result of several factors, including income tax problems, a failing marriage and feeling "embittered by the critical acceptance of free jazz" in the United States, as journalist Ben Ratliff would write. Apart from appearing regularly under his own name at jazz clubs such as London's Ronnie Scott's, Griffin became the "first choice" sax player for visiting US musicians touring the continent during the 1960s and 1970s. He briefly rejoined Monk's groups in 1967.
In 1995, Griffin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.