Johnny Griffin

John Arnold Griffin III (1928-2008) was an American hard bop tenor and bop saxophonist. He studied music at DuSable High School, where he was mentored by Walter Dyett. Griffin was once regarded as the “World’s Fastest Saxophonist” in jazz. However, as Griffin grew older and the jazz audience declined, this distinction almost disappeared. He was a member of Joe Morris’s and Lionel Hamptons’s bands in the 1940s and 1950s. He also worked with The Jazz Messengers and the Thelonious Monk Quartet. From 1960 to 1962, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Griffin led their group. He felt he had accomplished much in the USA. His pinnacle on records was the 1957 Blowin’ session with John Coltrane on the Blue Note label. He then moved to Europe. In 1963, he lived in France, then moved to the Netherlands in 1978. He continued to tour and record until his death in 2008. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

Leave a Comment