McGriff's Groove
May 27, 2008 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Soulful, funky and blues-inflected jazz organist Jimmy McGriff passed away over the weekend. McGriff (wiki) belonged (along with Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland, Lonnie Smith, Melvin Rhyne, John Patton, and others) to that select group of Hammond B-3 players who defined that instrument for jazz and related music--he played in small soul jazz combos that owed their greasy, riff-based sound as much to R&B as to bebop. Here's a small taste of McGriff's music.
posted by ornate insect (13 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This one is a mix-tape staple for me. Sorry to hear he passed.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:12 PM on May 27, 2008

posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:15 PM on May 27, 2008

I first found out about Jimmy McGriff about twelve years ago on a Blue Note compilation of rare grooves. The album featured "The Bird Wave", which was originally released on McGriff's "Electric Funk" album from 1969. When you hear that song, you'll notice its tremendous punch and power, something that could only be delivered by an entire orchestra of funk ninjas. This was well before the 70s kitsch of wokka-wokka wah pedals and violins, so it never got old, unlike so much funk that followed it. How bizarre and intimidating to hear such an orchestra of monstrous players, only to see them described on the original album notes as "unknown orchestra". Holy crap, these guys were laying down "The Bird Wave" -a song with enough funk and bump to knock you over - and they weren't considered noteworthy enough to mention by name.
posted by hesby at 9:16 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by Wolof at 9:44 PM on May 27, 2008

Damn. Another man done gone.
posted by rdone at 9:57 PM on May 27, 2008

"funk ninjas" - definitely the phrase of the week... thanks, hesby.
posted by twsf at 10:26 PM on May 27, 2008

Oh man. Man. This one hurts. Loved, loved, loved Jimmy McGriff.

posted by scody at 10:33 PM on May 27, 2008


he was great.
posted by space2k at 7:21 AM on May 28, 2008

I already miss him.
posted by Floydd at 7:40 AM on May 28, 2008

posted by mike3k at 8:32 AM on May 28, 2008

I pride myself on scouring the universe looking for late 60's/early 70's jazz/funk/fusion. I've proudly come upon tons of fine funk in my day, but somehow Jimmy McGriff had eluded me (don't ask me where my brain was). One day, I found Electric Funk missorted (or placed there by the funk gods) into the Jimmy Smith section. I took a chance on it and bought it. I was kicked in the crotch by that one, I tell you what. I felt like I was such a baby in the funk world that I'd never found this before.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:53 AM on May 28, 2008

Please let there be a blues Heaven.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:58 AM on May 28, 2008

posted by ob at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2008

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