Monday, September 27, 2010
Johnny Griffin's Last Go-Round, Live at Ronnie Scott's, 2008
Johnny Griffin is gone. His music stays with us. He was recorded in May of 2008 at Ronnie Scott's famed venue and it turns out that it was his last official record date (In & Out 77095-2). You get an hour of Johnny in the distinguished company of Billy Cobham, Roy Hargrove, pianist David Newton (with James Pearson and Steve Kuhn taking over the keys on one cut each). Reggie Johnson anchors the music on bass
They play an assortment of standards (like "Lester Leaps In" and "How Deep is the Ocean") plus three Griffin numbers and one by Hargrove.
The band is in fine form with Roy Hargrove in a good place throughout. And Johnny Griffin? He has his sound. But he doesn't quite have the masterful execution of the glory years. That is sad to hear.
If you are a stalwart Griffin fan, you'll probably want this one. Others may choose to seek out the music of the more healthy Griffin.