Jimmy McGriff

"They've always classified me as a Jazz organist which I am not," states Jimmy McGriff. "I'm more of a Blues player. That's what I really feel."

With innumerable Top Ten albums to his credit, there is no mistaking McGriff's status as a legend. A master of the Hammond B-3, his renditions of Jazz and Blues classics along with his own compositions like "All About My Girl", "Kiko", "Vicki" and "Granny’s Lane", have made him a Blues original.

James Harrell McGriff was born in Philadelphia, a city known for its world-class Jazz musicians - particularly its organists. He was surrounded by music while he was growing up: his mother and father both played piano while cousins Benny Golson and Harold Melvin were beginning to work on their own musical paths.

Jimmy started out playing acoustic bass and alto sax. By the time he had finished high school, he was playing drums, vibes and piano, as well! At that point in his life, the bass seemed to be holding his interest and Big Maybelle gave him his first steady job working with her at Philly's famous Pep's Showboat.

The influence of neighbor Richard "Groove" Holmes was dynamic though, and he studied privately with him. Jimmy also studied organ at Philadelphia's Combe College of Music and at Julliard. In addition, he studied privately not only with "Groove", but with Milt Buckner and with classical organist Sonny Gatewood.

An A&R rep for Sue Records heard Jimmy playing organ at a small club in Trenton, NJ, offered him a contract and Jimmy was on his way to becoming an international favorite.

Jimmy's arrangement of "I Got A Woman", on the Sue label, made it to the top five on both Billboard's R&B and Pop charts ... and the hits have kept coming year after year.

There are close to 100 albums with Jimmy McGriff's name at the top as leader. He has recorded for Sue, Solid State, United Artists, Blue Note, Groove Merchant and recently for Milestone, Headfirst and Telarc.

In his prolific career, Jimmy has recorded with George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Frank Foster, JJ Johnson and even a two-organ jam affair with the late "Groove" Holmes.

Jimmy McGriff has performed in concert with Count Basie, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Lou Donaldson, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band. He also toured and recorded with the great Buddy Rich for two years in the mid 70's.

Jimmy's television credits include programs with Nancy Wilson, the PBS favorite, "Club Date", and some fun with Paul Shaffer on Late Night with David Letterman.

Currently Jimmy performs around the world with his own Quartet, carving his own distinctive organ niche. Incorporating traditional gospel with a spiritual feel, he often teams up with musical buddy Hank Crawford in concert and on records.

Jimmy McGriff has received numerous awards over the years. Whether these accolades refer to him as a Blues master or a Jazz legend, McGriff fans will tell you that he just reaches for your heart and soul with his music and always comes up with a "feel-good" gettin' down sound!


                        Jimmy McGriff at the Organ      1963    Sue
                        I've Got a Woman                1963    Sue
                        At The Appollo                  1963    Sue
                        Topkapi                         1964    Sue
                        Blues For Mr. Jimmy             1965    Sue
                        The Last Minute                 ?       Sue
                        One of Mine                     ?       Sue
                        A Bag Full of Soul              1966    Solid State
                        The Big Band of Jimmy McGriff   1966    Solid State
                        Cherry                          1966    Solid State
                        Tribute to Basie                1966    LRC
                        I've Got a New Woman            1967    Solid State
                        A Bag Full of Blues             1967    Solid State
                        Step 1                          196?    Solid State
               Funkiest Little Band in the Land         ?       LRC
                        Georgia On My Mind              ?       LRC
                        Christmas with McGriff          ?       Black Label
                        The Worm                        1968    Solid State
                        Organ and Blues Band            1968    Solid State
                        Honey                           1968    Solid State
                        Electric Funk                   1969    Blue Note
                        A Thing to Come By              1970    Solid State
                        Something to Listen To          1970    Blue Note
                        Let's Stay Together             1971    Groove Merch.
                        Groove Grease                   1971    Groove Merch.
                        Good Things Don't Happen...     1971    Groove Merch.
                        Black Pearl                     1971    Blue Note
                        Flydude                         1972    Groove Merch.
                        If You're Ready                 1973    Groove Merch.
  "Groove" Holmes       Come Together                   1973    Groove Merch.
  "Groove" Holmes       Giants of the Organ in Concert  1973    Groove Merch.
  Dbl LP of previous 2! Supa Cookin'                    1975    Groove Merch.
  (Jimmy Ponder)        Stump Juice                     1975    Groove Merch.
                        Mean Machine                    1976    Groove Merch.
                        Main Squeeze                    1976    Groove Merch.
                        Flyin' Time                     ?       Groove Merch.
                        Black and Blues                 ?       Groove Merch.
                        Tail Gunner                     1977    LRC
                        Outside Lookin' In              1978    LRC
                        Soul Organ                      1978    Pickwick
                        Movin' Upside the Blues         1982    Jazz America
                        State of the Art                ?       Milestone
                        Hip Hop Bebop                   ?       Milestone
                        Countdown                       1983    Milestone
                        Skywalk                         1984    Milestone
  (Rusty Bryant)        The Starting Five               1986    Milestone
  (Melvin Sparks)       Blue to the Bone                1988    Milestone
                        You Ought to Think              1990    Headfirst
  (L. Killian)          The Jazz Collector Edition      1991    Laserlight
                        In A Blue Mood                  1991    Headfirst
                        Pullin' Out The Stops!-Best Of  C1994   Blue Note/EMI
  (Hank Crawford)       Right Turn On Blue              1994    Telarc

Crawford, Hank
  Jimmy McGriff         Soul Survivors                  1986    Milestone
  Jimmy McGriff         Steppin' Up                     1987    Milestone
  Jimmy McGriff         On the Blue Side                1990    Milestone

Jacquet, Illinois
  J.McGriff/B.Davis     Loot To Boot                    197?    LRC

Jones, Thad/Mel Lewis Orchestra
  McGriff(Henderson/Hubbard) Jazz Wave Ltd. on Tour     1969    Blue Note

Collins, Albert
  J.McGriff/Allen Batts Cold Snap                       1986    Alligator

Parker, "Little" Junior
  Jimmy McGriff         "Little" Junior Parker          ?       LRC

Hammond Grounds ^Groove^

This page brought to you by:
VintageHammond.Com - We Buy-Sell-Trade Vintage Hammond Organs

TheatreOrgans.com operates KEZL-FM Culbertson, NE A Non Profit Full Powered Radio Station