Album: Johnny Griffin, Live at Ronnie Scott's, (In+Out)

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The Independent Culture

'Little Giant' Griffin seemed the most durable and dapper of all his hard-bop tenor generation, yet this May 2008 recording, just after his 80th birthday, was his last: he died in July.

The front-line partner is trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who has come through his own jazz-life problems; Billy Cobham plays great bebop drums, while pianist David Newton adds rigour to five tunes. Griffin is not on top form, but his soulful tone and daring elisions remain special.

Pick of the Album: 'When We Were One', for Griffin's slow-burn solo