Foreword by Orrin Keepnews.
Johnny Griffin, the Little Giant from the South Side of Chicago, remained a top jazz saxophonist throughout his 63-year playing career. He spent 45 years in Europe and was recognized internationally as a major jazz star with a readily identifiable style, an immense improvisational flair and an unfailing capacity to swing. Jazz writer Brian Priestley observed: 'Griffin is one of the fastest and most accurate ever on his instrument.'
Griffin was an articulate, witty and entertaining conversationalist with an unending flow of anecdotal reminiscences about his days with Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, the Clarke-Boland Big Band and the variety of small groups he fronted over the years.
The Little Giant is a light-hearted, irreverent and uninhibited look at the life of one of the most consummate musicians in recent jazz history. It was launched in London as part of Johnny Griffin's 80th birthday celebrations.
Author Mike Hennessey is a jazz critic, producer, broadcaster and pianist. Other books by him include a biography of the late drummer, Kenny Clarke, Klook, and a history of Ronnie Scott's Club, Some of My Best Friends Are Blues. He covered the international music scene for Billboard magazine for over 27 years and he has written more than 500 album notes and hundreds of articles for a wide range of jazz magazines in North America and Europe.