Johnny Griffith: Dance With The Lady

Don’t confuse this tenor/alto saxist with jazz legend Johnny Griffin. Although they play the same horn, this guy has his own distinct name and can make a name for himself. He leads a smoking team of Jeremy Pelt/tp, Adrean Farrugia/p, John Maharaj/b and Ethan Ardelli/dr that plays assert modern hard bop as in the vintage days of Blue Note Records.

The rhythm team is a hard hitting trio that shows muscle on material like “The Zissou Predicament” and the trudging yet muscular “The Kuleshascope.” Farrugia’s touch on the piano can be flexible and yet swinging as he shows on “Syrah” and he can also create lovely and soft foundations as during “Cinders” which features Pelt’s fluffy horn. Pelt also gets a chance to show some bite throughout the set, while Griffith himself demonstrates a thick and beefy tenor  as well as a bright but not too sharp alto as shown on the playful “That Night…” and during the clever strut on the title track. Impressive charts, groove and themes that keep you on your toes between times you’re tapping them. Good stuff!

GB Records

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