Rolf Ericson / Johnny Griffin

The Berlin Session

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Six of the eight tracks on this disc that lists tenor giant Johnny Griffin and Swedish trumpeter Rolf Ericson as leaders was recorded over two days in May of 1978 -- a great period creatively for Griffin. The other players on the date are pianist Fritz Pauer, bassist Lucas Lindholm, and drummer Ronnie Stephenson. The program consists of originals such as Ericson’s smoking “Double Digit” and the elegant “Fragrance,” and some fine covers including a solid reading of Bud Powell's “Oblivion.” The final two tracks on this set were recorded a few months later with Griffin leading an entirely different band that included pianist Stanley Cowell, drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist Cecil McBee. Both cuts are excellent readings of the jazz standards "Billie’s Bounce” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” All of this material has been available before on separate LP compilations, but the Jazz Lips imprint assembled the entire Griffin/Ericson session here for the first time on CD This disc features very fine straight-ahead blowing throughout.

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