Tenor saxophone, French horn, drums, two string basses; a change of pace, indeed, brought off with adventurousness and aplomb by Johnny Griffin. By 1961, when he recorded Change of Pace, Griffin had built a reputation as one of the most formidable hard-bop tenors. His greased-lightning abilities with the saxophone were well known from his work with Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and the group he co-led with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Less recognized was the breadth of knowledge and curiosity that led Griffin to this unusual project. The instrumentation allowed textures more common to modern classical chamber music than to jazz. The experience and inclination of the players guaranteed unfettered swing. All of the compositions but one are by Griffin or his colleagues. His "Why Not'" underlines his admiration for Stravinsky with a melody line alluding to "Petrouchka."
with Julius Watkins, Bill Lee, Larry Gales, Ben Riley