The three studio albums recorded for Jazzland by the aptly named Tough Tenors, Johnny Griffin and Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, and their calorific Junior Mance-Larry Gales-Ben Riley rhythm section epitomize what this incendiary group was about. As Gene Lees put it succinctly in Down Beat magazine at the time, "This is five men swinging up a storm, and jazz is fortunate that such men exist to feed it." Its hearty, full-blowing jazz of the kind now associated with the partnership of contrasting tenor styles.
Here at the height of their game together, Griff and Lock stand as two swaggering swingers in a take-no-prisoners quintet greatly enhanced by the down-home soulfulness of Mances piano. Brusquely disposed of by the leaders, the tunes are jumping off points for combative improvisations in which both tenors display a sinewy, elastic muscularity that enables them to create roaring, vital, driving jazz.
Half a century on, these ebulliently swinging collaborations possess a joie de vivre that is well nigh irresistable.
01. The Last Train from Overbrook (Moody) 6:51
02. Hey Lock! (Davis) 7:56
03. Midnight at Mintons (Gonzales) 4:20
04. Second Balcony Jump (Valentine) 5:24
05. I'll Remember April (Raye-DePaul-Johnston) 6:33
06. Good Bait (Dameron-Basie) 7:39
07. Tickle Toe (Young) 5:26
08. Save Your Love for Me (Johnson) 7:06
09. Twins (Hackensack) (Monk) 6:32 (*)
01. Funky Fluke (Green) 9:13
02. Imagination (Burke-Van Heusen) 4:26
03. Soft Winds (Goodman-Henderson) 7:16
04. In Walked Bud (Monk) 4:36
05. Well, You Neednt (Monk) 5:31
06. Ruby My Dear (Monk) 4:39 +
[+] Johnny Griffin out
07. Rhythm-a-ning (Monk) 3:56
08. Epistrophy (Monk-Clarke) 8:37
09. 'Round Midnight (Monk-Williams-Hanighen) 5:25 +
[+] Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis out
10. Stickball (I Mean You) (Monk-Hawkins) 5:56
CD 1, tracks #1-6, from the Jazzland album
"Griff & Lock" (JLP 942).
CD 1, tracks #7-9 and CD 2 tracks #1-3, from
the Jazzland album "Tough Tenors" (JLP 931).
CD 2, tracks #4-10, from the Jazzland album
"Lookin' at Monk!" (JLP 939).
(*) "Twins" (track 9, on CD-1), was credited to Davis-Griffin in the original LP, but it is in fact "Hackensack" by Thelonious Monk.
Personnel on all tracks:
EDDIE 'LOCKJAW' DAVIS & JOHNNY GRIFFIN Quintet
Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, Johnny Griffin (ts), Junior Mance (p), Larry Gales (b), Ben Riley (d).
Sessions recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, November 4 & 10 (CD1 & CD2 #1-3), 1960 and February 7 (CD2 #4-10), 1961.
Original recordings produced by Orrin Keepnews.
Engineered by Ray Fowler.
Cover designs by Ken Deardoff & Donald Silverstein
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol.
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered