The Bob Griffin Trio
PIANO, BASS, DRUMS
Cover Illustration by Keith LoBue
"The instruments entitled here are manned by bassist George Porter, Jr. and drummer Russell Batiste of New Orleansā incomparable Meters, and by pianist Griffin, a Connecticut native but clearly a composer with French Quarter proclivities. A classic Southern mix of gospel, blues funk and jazz, Griffin's tunes have clear melodic themes, but leave plenty of room for his bright mid-tempo solos and the rest of the trio's deep-ditch grooving. Porter also shows off some funky guitar chops and a nice, reggae-flavored wah-wah solo. Mostly, it's a session that sounds like it was recorded in someone's living room---loose, warm and nice to come home to." Mark Rowland, Executive Editor copyright Musician Magazine May 1995 p.89
"Bob Griffin is a pianist based in Connecticut. Evidently determined to test his abilities, he went to New Orleans and recruited bassist George Porter, Jr. and drummer Russell Batiste---the Meters' rhythm section---for a session that combines blues, jazz, and New Orleans funk. The trio strips the city's music to it's bare essentials then lays it out for all to see. An excellent outing." Peter R. Aschoff copyright Living Blues Magazine Jan.Feb 1995 Number 119 Vol.26, no.1(LivingBluesOnline.com)
"Here's a release that scores a ten on the curiosity scale: an all-instrumental outing featuring the original funkmaster George Porter, Jr. on bass, and his Funky Meters rhythm section partner Russell Batiste on drums; the question is, who is Bob Griffin?
Apparently Griffin is a Connecticut pianist and composer who journeyed to New Orleans for inspiration and hooked up with the city's most powerful rhythm section. But this is not a true New Orleans piano album, although there are (faint) echoes of Dr. John and a kinship with the mellow ivory work of Allen Toussaint. So listeners expecting to hear anything rivaling Fess, Booker, "Tuts" Washington, Jon Cleary, et al, are going to be disappointed. What Griffin does have to offer is some pleasant New Orleans-style piano ditties that occasionally throw off some sparks, but often sound closer to catchy TV themes.
"But the beauty of this CD is that Porter and Batiste are given equal billing, and this is just as much their showcase as it is Griffin's. Batiste's drumming is way up in the mix, and on tracks like the opener "Trippin' Out" he employs his slippery and undefinable mix of high-hat accents, kicking ride cymbals, and funky half-beats that are more intrinsic than studied. And Porter is his usual inestimable self, spinning out bass lines that circle both Batiste and Griffin and seem to have a life of their own, while somehow simultaneously locking the beat. George even contributes some guitar licks to "Dixie Chimes" that tonally resemble his old bandmate Leo Nocentelli's work.
Piano, Bass, Drums should appeal to past and present fans of Meters, and local fans who've felt the Running Pardners have lost something with drummer Terrance Higgins replacing Batiste. And while Bob Griffin's piano playing is decidedly safe, he deserves credit for enlisting Porter and Batiste to push this affair into funky territory." Scott Jordan copyright Offbeat Magazine Jan 1995 Vol.8 no.1(www.offbeat.com)
Connecticut based pianist and composer Bob Griffin hooks up here with New Orleansā giants George Porter, Jr. (bass, guitar) and Russell Batiste Jr. (drums). This is "funkified" musical excursion, blending Blues and jazz with some Crescent City flavoring. The trio sounds loose and funky on this all instrumental outing. The rhythm section is tight and Griffin is given lots of room to stretch out on the ivories.
If you like the music of Professor Longhair, then you will find this disc to your liking. Sound quality is first rate with sessions done at Ultrasonic Studios in New Orleans. Highlights include: "Dixie Chimes" (check out the lead guitar) and "Zum Gali Gali" (with some nasty organ from Griffin)." Scott Acton copyright Skylands Blues Holiday Issue 1994