July 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
WBGO bids farewell to Johnny Griffin, a master jazz musician. Many jazz people referred to Griffin as "The Little Giant," no doubt because of his dimunitive stature (he was a shade below 5 and a half feet tall). The consensus, however, was that Griffin's true stature loomed large in the music. Johnny Griffin could easily fall under the category of "hard bop saxophonist," but to do so would be an injustice. When you listen to the raw muscular sound of early Johnny Griffin records, you can hear a combination of saxophone legend Coleman Hawkins, the rough-and-tumble rhythm and blues of Griffin's Chicago hometown, and some definitive gospel wails. It was a big, combustible sound. One that will be missed.
If you're looking for good music from Griffin, you have plenty of options.
Some suggestions after the jump.
© 2008 WBGO
June 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
The National Endowment for the Arts today announced the recipients of the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters Award-the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American music. The six recipients will each receive a $25,000 grant award, and will be publicly honored in an awards ceremony and concert on Friday, October 17, 2008.
The six 2009 NEA Jazz Masters are:
George Benson (vocalist/guitar)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)
Lee Konitz (saxophone)
Toots Thielemans (harmonica and guitar)
Snooky Young (trumpet)
Rudy Van Gelder (rec. engineer)
© 2008 WBGO