Johnny Griffin met the three Montgomery Brothers at Berkeley, California's Tsubo nightclub in 1962–but he didn't meet them all at once. One June night, he participated in the live recording Full House (OJCCD-106-2), one of guitarist Wes Montgomery's greatest sessions; then, when the club was empty the following afternoon, Griffin got together with Buddy and Monk Montgomery plus modern jazz stalwart Art Taylor for this memorable album. Enjoying the superior musicianship of Buddy (whose use of vibes on two tracks recalls Griffin's first name gig with Lionel Hampton) and Monk (heard here on an upright rather than his usual electric bass), the fastest tenor in the land devised a beautifully balanced program that showcased his facility on tracks like "Slow Burn" and also revealed his growing command of the jazz ballad. The poignancy of Griffin's horn on "The Midnight Sun Will Never Set" and "Wonder Why" announce a new phase in his playing, one that has developed alongside his quick-witted invention over the ensuing decades to make Griffin one of jazz's most complete tenor players.
with Buddy Montgomery, Monk Montgomery, Arthur Taylor