Johnny Griffin

Studio Jazz Party

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This CD reissues a studio date that tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin and his quintet (trumpeter Dave Burns, pianist Norman Simmons, bassist Vic Sproles and drummer Ben Riley) performed before an invited and enthusiastic studio audience, who provided atmosphere. Babs Gonzales introduces several of the numbers, but proves to be an unnecessary presence. However, Griffin in particular plays quite well in this loose straight-ahead setting; Burns shows that he was always a very underrated trumpeter; and the five lengthy selections are all worth hearing. The best are "Good Bait" (which is almost 12½ minutes long), "Toe-Tappin'," and "Low Gravy."

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