A musician with a penchant for variety and surprise, Johnny Griffin has provided plenty of both through his long career. This 1961 quartet album found the master tenor saxophonist exploring the possibilities in four familiar folk songs, three original compositions and a standard song, "Hush-a-Bye," based on a classical piece. To all of them Griffin applied his magisterial tone, vital imagination, and ability to extract the greatest meaning from any harmonic structure. His companions in the adventure were Barry Harris, who was virtually the Riverside Records house pianist during this period; Ron Carter, a bassist of steadily increasing importance; and Ben Riley, then working with Sonny Rollins and soon to become Thelonious Monk's drummer. It is unlikely that any group of Scottish singers ever performed "Green Grow the Rushes" with energy like Griffin's.
with Barry Harris, Ron Carter, Ben Riley
Recorded in New York City; December 21, 1961 and January 5, 1962.