Friday, April 16, 2010

Best Live Jazz: Davis & Griffin @ Minton's Playhouse

That's Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin.  It's fun to piece together a great live jazz set published on several different albums.  Eric Dolphy and Booker Little at the Five Spot comes to mind.  On January 6th, 1961, Davis and Griffin blew Minton's Playhouse in New York City out of the water.  Most or all of the event is captured on two records: The Tenor Scene, and Live at Minton's

This is gorgeous hard bop, soulful and ebullient.  I confess, I can't tell who is playing which sax.  I have loved Johnny Griffin for a long time.  All the Lockjaw Davis stuff I have has Griffin on it, well, except for Very Saxy.  That is a gem on its own.  

There was a lot of Monk exposed to Griffin and Davis' exegesis on that January night.  Here is one sample:
Eddie Lockjaw Davis & Johnny Griffin/Well, You Needn't/Live at Minton's
Here is the rest of the band: Junior Mance (p) Larry Gales (b) Ben Riley (d).  Griffin is an under appreciated deacon in the church of Monk.  Give this one a listen, download it from eMusic, and drop me a note. 


  1. A live version of Moanin' with Johnny Griffin, Art Blakey,Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller
    and Walter Davis Jr:

    Griffin actually lived in the Netherlands for a couple of years. He met his wife Miriam, who was born in Rotterdam, in Paris I believe. An excellent interview with Griffin from the book mentioned by MrD in the previous post:


  2. Thanks so much for the youtube reference, André. I liked it so much I did a separate post highlighting it.