13 Facts About Johnny Griffin


John Arnold Griffin III was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.


In 1995, Johnny Griffin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.


Johnny Griffin studied music at DuSable High School in Chicago under Walter Dyett, starting out on clarinet before moving on to oboe and then alto saxophone.


Johnny Griffin first appeared on a Los Angeles recording with Hampton's band in 1945 at the age of 17.


Johnny Griffin's playing can be heard on early rhythm and blues recordings for Atlantic Records.


Johnny Griffin joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1957, and his recordings from that time include an album joining together the Messengers and Thelonious Monk.


Johnny Griffin then succeeded John Coltrane as a member of Monk's Five Spot quartet; he can be heard on the albums Thelonious in Action and Misterioso.


Johnny Griffin was known to quote generously from classical, opera and other musical forms.


Johnny Griffin moved to France in 1963 and to the Netherlands in 1978.


Johnny Griffin's relocation was the result of several factors, including income tax problems, a failing marriage and feeling "embittered by the critical acceptance of free jazz" in the United States, as journalist Ben Ratliff wrote.


Apart from appearing regularly under his own name at jazz clubs such as London's Ronnie Scott's, Johnny Griffin became a "first choice" sax player for visiting US musicians touring the continent during the 1960s and 1970s.


Johnny Griffin briefly rejoined Monk's groups in 1967.


Johnny Griffin recorded with the Nat Adderley Quintet in 1978, having previously recorded with Adderley in 1958.