Jimmy McGriff, Blues Organist Crossed Musical Lines


Sign in to view read count
Jimmy McGriff, the acclaimed blues organist, who scored his first hit in the 1960s with an instrumental arrangement of “I've Got a Woman," then continued to record hard-swinging grooves that appealed to audiences across musical boundaries, died Saturday at a nursing home in New Jersey. He was 72.

The cause of death was not known but was believed to be heart failure, said his wife, Margaret McGriff. McGriff was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis many years ago.

Though sometimes described as a jazz organist, McGriff considered himself a bluesman; the blues was what he felt when he played and what distinguished his music from other greats of the organ.

“Jimmy Smith is the jazz king on the organ, but when it comes to blues, I can do things where he can't touch me," McGriff once said.

In a 2000 Times article, jazz writer Don Heckman described McGriff's concert performance with saxophonist Hank Crawford and others as “an impressive display of the depth and power of the blues."

McGriff's “rich-textured organ timbres" created “a roiling undercurrent of rhythm." Heckman wrote. “At climactic points they gathered to generate tsunami-like waves of energy before breaking off into sudden, dramatic moments of silence."

Continue Reading...

Visit Website

Post a comment


Shop Amazon

Jazz News

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.