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Johnny Griffin: The Little Giant

Album Notes

Johnny Griffin Sextet: Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Julian Priester (trombone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Sam Jones (bass); Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York in August 1959. Originally released on Riverside (1149). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.

Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1995, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

Johnny Griffin Sextet: Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Julian Priester (trombone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Sam Jones (bass); Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).

Recorded in August 1959.

Digitally remastered by JVC using XRCD (extended resolution compact disc).

A bit of an offbeat session for tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, The Little Giant features three originals by then-obscure pianist Norman Simmons, a reworking of the pop tune "Playmates," Babs Gonzalez's "Lonely One," and the tenorist's "63rd Street Theme." Simmons' arrangements for the three horns (which include trumpeter Blue Mitchell and trombonist Julian Priester) are colorful; the rhythm section (pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath) is state of the art for the period, and Griffin (who is featured in a trio with Jones and Heath on "Lonely One") is in fine form. An interesting set of obscure straight-ahead jazz. ~ Scott Yanow



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