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Little Giant

Johnny GriffinAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $12.58 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, 1995 $12.58  

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Little Giant + Tough Tenors + Introducing Johnny Griffin
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000Y7W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Olive Refractions
2. The Message
3. Lonely One
4. 63rd Street Theme
5. Playmates
6. Venus And The Moon

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cookin' Ensemble - - heavy blowing ! December 23, 2010
Format:Audio CD
This 1959 Riverside session features Blue Mitchell, Wynton Kelly, Julian Priester, Albert Heath and Sam Jones... The tunes have cleverly arranged heads, but provide ample space for the musicians to swing out over the killer rhythm section. The arrangements themselves catch you from the get go as much as Griffin's sharp in-your-face bop infused almost alto-like phrasing... Though for some reason I'll always remember Johnny Griffin for a little ditty called SOFT AND FURRY, the truth is that, like Stitt, cooking tempos, fast but not too fast were his friend.

Though prominently featured, the album is definitely an ensemble effort too... with the solos often starting or finishing with vamps and/or shout choruses from the horns - - Julian Priester and Blue Mitchell are really hot on this one - - in fact, by the second track, THE MESSAGE, the ensemble is really workin' out... the sharpness, edgy angularness and intensity of the players are apparent - - This is one very inspired session - - it wasn't just a bunch of musicians thrown together for a session and seeing what they could come up with (something Blue Note frequently did with incredibly consistent results actually...)

Another strength of the album is variety, with the moody Latin number LONELY ONE breaking things up (featuring Griffin/drums and bass only) - - My favorite composition; however, Griffin's original minor blues 63rd STREET THEME - - Like MOANIN', I love the way the band sets the theme then the trumpet player comes in oh so hot and smooth. - - The tune is followed by the happy and bouncy PLAYMATES and closes with the groovy but mysterious VENUS AND THE MOON one of three compositions written by Norman Simmons, at the time a young pianist who seems to have scored the album as well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Little Giant" Plays Big April 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The follow-up to the magnificent Johnny Griffin Sextet (see my review), "The Little Giant" was recorded in August 1959, almost a year and a half after "Sextet" -- an eternity between sessions by jazz standards of the late 50s. Well, I suppose Griffin had a good excuse, as he did a little gigging from coast to coast, and played several months with some guy named Monk at the Five Spot. Anyway, "The Little Giant" was worth the wait. Griffin again employs a sextet for this date -- Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Julian Priester on trombone, Wynton Kelly on piano, Sam Jones on bass and "Tootie" Heath on drums. This time, however, the formula doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights of "Sextet," though the disc does feature some very nice original compositions by a virtually unknown Chicago pianist named Norman Simmons ("Olive Refractions," "The Message," and "Venus and the Moon"). However, when all is said and done "The Little Giant" does play big.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play it again Johnny December 1, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is such a terrific "album" I ordered another copy as a backup. Check out the NPR program of JG's birthday concert also. This recording is just one of those special things you can hear over and over. No mp3 download available from Amazon for now. Come on!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars methinks it's a little mastergiantpiece October 3, 2007
Format:Audio CD
First off, Johnny can BLOW. 5 stars right to the Big Dipper and back.

This is one of my favorite jazz recordings. Perhaps it's the minor keys and soft cacophony? It's got a certain feel like you are smack dab in the middle of a teeming big city, but also can hunker down at the local coffee shop. You can see the fog rolling in, see your breath in the window, hear the trains, catch a peep of springtime through the L steaming down the tracks. This set feels to me the combo of the simple joy from cozy home-cooking, and the atomic energy of a rocket launching. Like jazz.

"Small piece of leather, but well put together"

Blow, Johnny, Blow.
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