Rhapsody App for
Rhapsody International, Inc.
Johnny Griffin


The year is 1957, and the place is Chicago. Stopping only to breathe, Johnny Griffin unleashes from his horn a flurry of notes so fast that the audience begins to wonder where the fire is. Such was Griffin’s early style. He started his career with a bang, and calmed down considerably as his playing developed. By 1958, he was already playing ballads; that year, he recorded a breakthrough sextet album with an all-star lineup, featuring the great baritone sax player Pepper Adams. By 1960, he’d branched out to fronting larger ensembles. The following year, he recorded a tribute to Billie Holiday that included strings. Griffin played in a cutting Hard Bop style, which had its roots in Charlie Parker’s harmonic innovations but employed a sharper attack. He was never as sensitive a ballad player as other hard-boppers such as Sonny Rollins. Nevertheless, his music offers exciting listening.

Similar Artists

Rhapsody app on your desktop or mobile device.

Listen to the songs you love. Anytime, anywhere.

14 day free trial, then just $9.99/month for Rhapsody Premier. View all plans