Lock, the Fox
Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis (ts), Les Spann (g), Ross Tompkins (p), Russell George (b), Chuck Lampkin (d), Ray Barretto (conga)
Dynagroove Stereo Recordings
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis began playing professionally a few months after he bought his first saxophone. He born in New York City in 1921. He worked at Clark Monroe's Uptown House before joining Cootie Williams' big band in 1942. Engagements followed with Lucky Millinder, Andy Kirk and Louis Armstrong. In 1945 he formed his own small group and began an off-and-on engagement lasting several years at Minton's in New York. During this significant period in the history of jazz, both Monroe's and Minton's were regarded as testing grounds for the new bop music. Davis joined Count Basie for the first time in 1952, returning to him again in 1957 and 1965. Between these engagements he was very much responsible for popularizing the organ and tenor group, employing first Doc Bagby and then Shirley Scott as organists. He also enjoyed considerable success as co-leader with Johnny Griffin of a band featuring their two tenor saxophones.
In 1963, to the consternation of his fans and colleagues, he gave up his career as a musician and became a booking agent. Fortunately, good friends like Count Basie were able to persuade him to return, but this temporary hiatus was an experience that at least enabled him to see the music business from an entirely new standpoint. He credits Ben Webster with being his major stylistic influence. At one time, in fact, he was known as "Little Ben," but since then he has established his own definite musical identity. What the English musician Humphrey Lyttelton once termed his "slurred, insolent phrases" give to his interpretations an intensely personal character.
01. Nina Never Knew (Drake-Alter) 2:31
02. Speak Low (Nash-Weill) 4:10
03. Midnight Sun (Hampton-Burke-Mercer) 3:48
04. On Green Dolphin Street
05. Save Your Love for Me (Johnson) 3:08
06. On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
07. West Coast Blues (Montgomery) 4:02
08. Days of Wine and Roses (Mancini-Mercer) 3:15
09. Good Life (Distel-Reardon) 3:36
10. Oh!! Gee!! (Gee) 3:02
Originally issued as RCA Victor LSP 3652
Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis (tenor sax), Ross Tompkins (piano), Les Spann (guitar), Russell George (bass), Chuck Lampkin (drums), and Ray Barretto (conga drum).
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio B, New York City, June 20 & 21, 1966
Produced by Brad McCuen
Recording engineer: Mickey Crofford
"The tenor saxophonist is in superb form as he interacts with Les Spann, Ross Tompkins, Ray Barretto, bassist Russell George, and drummer Chuck Lampkin. Each of the ten pieces is brief and to-the-point with the focus almost exclusively on the leader. The mix is kind of strange, as Tompkins is barely audible much of the time, though any listener will automatically be drawn to the leader's powerful sax."
Ken Dryden -All Music Guide