June 15, 2024

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CD review: Johnny Griffin Quartet – Live In Valencia 92 – 2024: Video, CD cover

The legendary tenor saxophonist, Johnny Griffin’s electrifying performance in Valencia, Spain in 1992 is set to be immortalized.

Accompanied by an all-star trio with French pianist Hervé Sellin, bassist Reggie Johnson and Doug Sides on drums, this recording, consisting of 6 tracks, is a chance to hear Johnny Griffin at his best, enjoying being out there live with an enthusiastic Spanish audience.

Live in Valencia 92 offers a glimpse into Griffin’s artistry, showcasing a mastery of the tenor saxophone across a repertoire of standards by his favorite composers like Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, but we also get The Cat, one of his own compositions and almost considered a theme song for Johnny Griffin.

Johnny Griffin loved the European way of living and the Europeans loved him back. He settled in France, but spent time in Amsterdam and Copenhagen as well. As Hervé Sellin writes about playing jazz “we don’t take it too seriously, but we do it very seriously”. That was what Johnny Griffin was known for, A little giant making everybody have a good time. And that’s exactly what you experience on this recording.

Johnny Griffin (1928-2008) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist known for his blistering speed and technical prowess. A prolific performer and recording artist, Griffin’s career spanned over six decades, during which he collaborated with some of the most prominent figures in jazz, including Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.

This recording serves as a poignant reminder of Griffin’s enduring impact on the jazz world. For jazz enthusiasts, Live in Valencia 92, is a must have addition to any collection, offering a glimpse into the brilliance of one of jazz music’s true icons.

01. Just Friends
02. A Monk’s Dream
03. Sophisticated Lady
04. The Cat
05. Rhythm-A-Ning
06. Medley: Blue Monk / Things Ain’t What They Used to Be

Johnny Griffin – (tenor saxophone)
Hervé Sellin – (piano)
Reggie Johnson – (bass)
Doug Sides – (drums)

Recording: Auditorio Bancaja, Valencia, Spain, January 29, 1992

Live in Valencia 92 | Johnny Griffin | Storyville Records

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