Johnny Griffin : The Congregation

Johnny Griffin : The Congregation


Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Sonny Clark (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Kenny Dennis (drums)  

Blue Note 1580

Music Matters Records : 2 LPs 180 gram (45rpm)

Limited Edition : 2,500 printings

Brand New and Sealed Record

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A  - The Congregation
B1 - Latin Quarter
B2 - I'm Glad There Is You
C   - Main Spring
D   - It's You Or No One

Recorded on October 23, 1957, at Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Johnny Griffin could play as rapidly as anyone but there was more to the great tenor than just speed. His warm and emotional tone was distinctive (becoming an influence on Rahssan Roland Kirk), he could play chorus after chorus of inventive and fresh ideas, and he was unbeatable in a saxophone battle. Griffin even battled Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (who had a much tougher tone) to a dead heat in nightly battles when they co-led a quintet in the 1960s. The Congregation is a superb outing full of heat, fire and intensity, with time out for thoughtful ballads. Teamed with pianist Sonny Clark in a quartet, Griffin is quite exuberant on the lengthy sanctified title cut which is reminiscent of the jubilant Horace Silver tune "The Preacher." He tears into "It's You Or No One" and puts plenty of honest feeling into the other songs which are taken at a more moderate pace. Johnny Griffin, like the very best jazz musicians, meant every note that he played and his solos were full of constant surprises, making his best recordings timeless. The Congregation is one of his finest albums.

The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is remastered from the original analogue Van Gelder studio tapes and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.