A biography of Johnny Griffin / Biografía de Johnny Griffin

As part of his 80th birthday celebrations, on Tuesday, May 26th, Johnny Griffin and Mike Hennessey launched THE LITTLE GIANT - THE STORY OF JOHNNY GRIFFIN, at Foyles, in London. The launch itself was quite a humorous chat between musician and biographer. For me it was also a chance to meet Hennessey in person (we both write for Spanish mag Cuadernos de Jazz).

As for the book, it is a good read. The author is obviously sympathetic towards his subject, so things like his definition of jazz as unavoidably linked to swing, or his flat out rejection of avant-garde music go pretty much unchallenged. I'd also wished that the book delved deeper on subjects like Griffin's music education (he plays oboe), but, all in all, his candour - even about drugs and alcohol - and, especially, his unabashed and contagious enthusiasm for jazz make up for any shortcomings.

A longer review, in Spanish, will be out in Cuadernos de Jazz in the near future.

THE LITTLE GIANT - THE STORY OF JOHNNY GRIFFIN is out now, Northway Publications (230 pp., hardback; ISBN: 978-0-9550908-5-1).


Este año Johnny Griffin cumple 80, y como parte de la celebración, el pasado 26 de mayo, martes, el propio Griffin y Mike Hennessey presentaron en la librería Foyles de Londres, la biografía del primero a cargo del segundo. Es un libro relativamente breve, que retrata fielmente el exuberante carácter del saxofonista. Próximamente publicaré una reseña más extensa en Cuadernos de Jazz.

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