Body & Soul

Johnny Griffin

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Body & Soul Review

by Ken Dryden

This is a fairly obscure bootleg of a live club date by tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin. The strong hiss and distant sound of the rhythm section are a dead giveaway that this is an unauthorized release, though the big-toned Griffin makes the most of this date, opening with a powerful take of "Body and Soul." Organist Lou Bennett, an expatriate like Griffin, often sounds like he is down the hall in the otherwise cooking riff tune "Leave Me Alone Blues," which is highlighted by Griffin's unaccompanied solo in the middle of the track. The 24-minute workout of "The Man I Love" might seem excessive, but Griffin explores a number of avenues within his improvisations, while guitarist André Condvant makes the most of his turn in the spotlight. The mediocre recording quality from this audience recording reduces its value, though obsessive collectors may want to search for this hard-to-find CD issued by the now-defunct Moon label.

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