Johnny Griffin: The Way You Look Tonight


The Way You Look Tonight


Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)


Introducing Johnny Griffin (Blue Note)

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Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Curly Russell (bass), Max Roach (drums).

Composed by Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 17, 1956


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

During the 1950s, Johnny Griffin built a reputation as "fastest horn in the West," and his rendition of this standard on his first album as a leader exemplifies that aspect of his playing. On the theme, the "Little Giant" sets a pace that's not much faster than average for this tune, but when it comes to improvising he dashes through the chord changes with supernatural speed. And this doesn't hinder the utter relevance with which his imagination produces bop and blues patterns one after another. Of course the Kern & Fields love song doesn't retain much of its original meaning during this vigorous treatment. But if one accepts the idea, one can only be impressed by the tenor stampede that charges through Kern's chordal corral with such youthful exuberance.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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