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Jazz April Birthday: Organist Jimmy McGriff

© Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos

One of the most popular jazz and blues organists, Jimmy McGriff was born in Philadelphia, a city which was known for its many great Hammond B-3 players:   Jimmy Smith, Trudy Pitts and Charles Earland, to name just a few.

McGriff was solidly based in the blues and gospel, and often described himself as a blues player as opposed to a jazz player.  He played jazz as dance music.

"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." --Jimmy McGriff

Some of the most soulful jazz you'll ever hear can be found on McGriff's recordings with saxophonist Hank Crawford.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.

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