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Remembering 'The Little Giant' of Jazz

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Remembering 'The Little Giant' of Jazz

Saxophonist Johnny Griffin was known to jazz fans around the world as “the Little Giant.” Growing up on Chicago's South Side, he developed a muscular sound and rapid-fire dexterity that became his calling card. He made his mark with jazz greats Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk before moving to Europe in 1963. He died at his home in the French countryside in July. He was 80.

One Chicagoan who knew Johnny Griffin well is Joe Segal, owner of the Jazz Showcase nightclub. Segal wrote liner notes for some of Griffin's early albums. Segal and Griffin – along with saxophonist Joe Henderson – also shared the same April 24th birthday. For many years, Segal brought Griffin back home to play an annual birthday concert for his home town fans. Eight Forty Eight's Richard Steele talks with Joe Segal about his memories of Johnny Griffin. 

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