Johnny Griffin Dies

Johnny Griffin, 80, a tenor saxophonist who performed with artists including Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Lionel Hampton, died of undisclosed causes at his home in France July 25.

The Chicago native, often described as the "world’s fastest saxophonist," got his start in 1945 with Hampton’s orchestra and went on to perform with various combos including Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as well as his own group.

He made France his home in 1962. He continued to record and tour, most recently in Spain, Portugal and Tunisia, up until his death, longtime agent Helene Manfredi said.