The year 1978 was highly significant in the musical chronology of Johnny Griffin (b. 1928). On October 17, the native Chicagoan, who'd been living in Europe since 1963, made his first album in America in 15 years, Return of the Griffin. During the subsequent two days he cut Bush Dance; five years later Griffin was again ensconced in Fantasy’s Berkeley studios, the result being another gem, Call It Whachawana, which completes this disc. Known far and wide as the fastest tenor man in the West, Griffin, like Hall-of-Fame pitchers Bob Feller and Nolan Ryan, had more on the ball than mere velocity. This set presents a soloist with a scintillating array of deliveries, from the extended Afro-Cubop tour de force that is "A Night in Tunisia" to the R&B-redux of "Since I Fell for You"; from the variegated blues shades of "The Jamfs Are Coming" and "Call It Whachawana" to the poignant balladry of "Lover Man" and the hard-bop hoedown of "I Mean You" (by Griffin's genius of an ex-employer, Thelonious Monk). Bush Dance, with the leader backed by two resourceful rhythm sections, is a high-water mark in Johnny Griffin’s lengthy and distinguished discography.
with George Freeman, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Sam Jones, Curtis Lundy, Mulgrew Miller, Kenneth Nash, Cedar Walton, Kenny Washington