Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsJohnny Griffin
IN THE NEWS

Johnny Griffin

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 1991 | ZAN STEWART
The 63-year-old tenor saxophonist, long known as a rousing soloist who could dig into a quicksilver opus with considerable relish, tones things down here. Of his nine originals, only one, "Hot Sake," is fast and fomenting. The other selections investigate medium to slow tempos--leisurely realms that allow Griffin opportunity to express captivating emotions. Even at his most blustery, Griffin has put his saxophone tone in the spotlight.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2008 | Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
Johnny Griffin, the tenor saxophonist known as the "Little Giant," whose big, rich sound and lightning speed made for a distinct musical signature during an era when bebop was king, has died. He was 80. Griffin died Friday at his home in France, his agent, Helene Manfredi, told Bloomberg News. The cause was not reported. Though he was often called the "world's fastest saxophonist," Griffin -- who jammed with such greats as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Art Blakey -- did not see speed as the key element of his playing.
Advertisement
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 1993 | DON HECKMAN
* * Johnny Griffin, "Dance of Passion," Antilles. Griffin's compositions and pianist Michael Weiss' arrangements are showcased on a set performed by a seven-piece ensemble--the front line features tenor saxophone, French horn, trombone and tuba. Most of the works are pleasant melodic variations on mainstream sounds, with traces of Art Blakey and Gil Evans drifting through the arrangements.
WORLD
March 18, 2006 | Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer
The Little Giant comes back to town on a winter day the color of cobblestones. It's a three-hour trip to Paris by car and fast train from the village where he lives southwest of the capital. After a childhood on the South Side of Chicago, a career forged in the smoke and din of jazz dens the world over, he has become a country gentleman. On the phone from his house in the rural Poitou region, he says, "You can't get more country than this."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 1995 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
You have to listen quickly with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin. Musical ideas come and go with such torrential rapidity that one feels lucky to grab one or two pithy licks as they come flying by. His appearance at the Jazz Bakery on Wednesday in the opening set of a five-night run was a showcase example of Griffin on the loose. Nearing 67 (his birthday is Monday), he's lost nothing off his high, hard fastball and has added a few tricky off-speed pitches as well.
SPORTS
March 13, 1988 | AL PRESTON
Johnny Griffin and Paul Horn scored 22 points each and P.J. Wnek added 19 to lead Biola to a 90-78 victory over Southern California College in the West Regional final of the National Christian College Athletic Assn. tournament Saturday at Biola. Griffin, a 6-foot 5-inch NAIA All-American selection last year, scored 14 of his points in the second half as Biola (29-4) pulled away late in the period after leading by just one with 10 minutes left.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 1986 | LEONARD FEATHER
Johnny Griffin, the tenor saxophonist who moved to Europe in the 1960s, is back in the States for another of his occasional tours. Tuesday and Wednesday he took over the bandstand at Donte's. Known as "The Little Giant," Griffin is no midget; a shortish but stocky figure, he brings to the horn a powerful, technically adroit approach that occasionally evokes his one-time partner Eddie (Lockjaw) Davis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2008 | Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
Johnny Griffin, the tenor saxophonist known as the "Little Giant," whose big, rich sound and lightning speed made for a distinct musical signature during an era when bebop was king, has died. He was 80. Griffin died Friday at his home in France, his agent, Helene Manfredi, told Bloomberg News. The cause was not reported. Though he was often called the "world's fastest saxophonist," Griffin -- who jammed with such greats as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Art Blakey -- did not see speed as the key element of his playing.
SPORTS
March 6, 1988 | RALPH NICHOLS, Times Staff Writer
Cal Lutheran, which made a habit of overcoming obstacles this season, finally ran into one that was too formidable to conquer--Johnny Griffin. Griffin, a 6-5 senior forward, scored a game-high 39 points, including 30 in the second half, to lead Biola to an 84-63 victory over CLU in the NAIA District III semifinals at Whittier College on Saturday night. Biola plays Westmont for the district title Tuesday at Whittier College. The Warriors defeated Southern Cal College, 100-86, Saturday to advance.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 1995 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For years, the considerable reputation of the exceptional tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin was based mainly around his ability to play stunningly fast. From songs such as "Cherokee" on his first recording, 1956's "Introducing" on Blue Note Records, to "Hot Sake" on his 1990 Antilles album, "The Cat," Griffin tore up the tunes, delivering sprinting lines that sizzled the ears. Griffin, now celebrating his 50th year in jazz, makes his first L.A.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 1995 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
You have to listen quickly with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin. Musical ideas come and go with such torrential rapidity that one feels lucky to grab one or two pithy licks as they come flying by. His appearance at the Jazz Bakery on Wednesday in the opening set of a five-night run was a showcase example of Griffin on the loose. Nearing 67 (his birthday is Monday), he's lost nothing off his high, hard fastball and has added a few tricky off-speed pitches as well.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 1995 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For years, the considerable reputation of the exceptional tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin was based mainly around his ability to play stunningly fast. From songs such as "Cherokee" on his first recording, 1956's "Introducing" on Blue Note Records, to "Hot Sake" on his 1990 Antilles album, "The Cat," Griffin tore up the tunes, delivering sprinting lines that sizzled the ears. Griffin, now celebrating his 50th year in jazz, makes his first L.A.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 1993 | DON HECKMAN
* * Johnny Griffin, "Dance of Passion," Antilles. Griffin's compositions and pianist Michael Weiss' arrangements are showcased on a set performed by a seven-piece ensemble--the front line features tenor saxophone, French horn, trombone and tuba. Most of the works are pleasant melodic variations on mainstream sounds, with traces of Art Blakey and Gil Evans drifting through the arrangements.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 1991 | ZAN STEWART
The 63-year-old tenor saxophonist, long known as a rousing soloist who could dig into a quicksilver opus with considerable relish, tones things down here. Of his nine originals, only one, "Hot Sake," is fast and fomenting. The other selections investigate medium to slow tempos--leisurely realms that allow Griffin opportunity to express captivating emotions. Even at his most blustery, Griffin has put his saxophone tone in the spotlight.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 1989 | ZAN STEWART
"Jazz Music!" exclaimed tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin with a broad smile at the conclusion of his scintillating first set at Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood on Tuesday. It was both a statement of what Griffin and his crew--Michael Weiss (piano), Dennis Irwin (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums)--had just played as it was a joyous exultation. Griffin is of the school where jazz means one thing: pure, unadulterated cooking music where pretty notes reign. Griffin's five-tune set, which began a five-night engagement, opened at a near-gallop with "Just Friends" and closed with an even-faster "Hot Sake."
SPORTS
March 13, 1988 | AL PRESTON
Johnny Griffin and Paul Horn scored 22 points each and P.J. Wnek added 19 to lead Biola to a 90-78 victory over Southern California College in the West Regional final of the National Christian College Athletic Assn. tournament Saturday at Biola. Griffin, a 6-foot 5-inch NAIA All-American selection last year, scored 14 of his points in the second half as Biola (29-4) pulled away late in the period after leading by just one with 10 minutes left.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 1989 | ZAN STEWART
"Jazz Music!" exclaimed tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin with a broad smile at the conclusion of his scintillating first set at Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood on Tuesday. It was both a statement of what Griffin and his crew--Michael Weiss (piano), Dennis Irwin (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums)--had just played as it was a joyous exultation. Griffin is of the school where jazz means one thing: pure, unadulterated cooking music where pretty notes reign. Griffin's five-tune set, which began a five-night engagement, opened at a near-gallop with "Just Friends" and closed with an even-faster "Hot Sake."
WORLD
March 18, 2006 | Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer
The Little Giant comes back to town on a winter day the color of cobblestones. It's a three-hour trip to Paris by car and fast train from the village where he lives southwest of the capital. After a childhood on the South Side of Chicago, a career forged in the smoke and din of jazz dens the world over, he has become a country gentleman. On the phone from his house in the rural Poitou region, he says, "You can't get more country than this."
SPORTS
March 6, 1988 | RALPH NICHOLS, Times Staff Writer
Cal Lutheran, which made a habit of overcoming obstacles this season, finally ran into one that was too formidable to conquer--Johnny Griffin. Griffin, a 6-5 senior forward, scored a game-high 39 points, including 30 in the second half, to lead Biola to an 84-63 victory over CLU in the NAIA District III semifinals at Whittier College on Saturday night. Biola plays Westmont for the district title Tuesday at Whittier College. The Warriors defeated Southern Cal College, 100-86, Saturday to advance.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 1986 | LEONARD FEATHER
Johnny Griffin, the tenor saxophonist who moved to Europe in the 1960s, is back in the States for another of his occasional tours. Tuesday and Wednesday he took over the bandstand at Donte's. Known as "The Little Giant," Griffin is no midget; a shortish but stocky figure, he brings to the horn a powerful, technically adroit approach that occasionally evokes his one-time partner Eddie (Lockjaw) Davis.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|