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.
Total time: 118:36 min.
01. The Last Train from Overbrook (James Moody) 6:51
02. Hey Lock! (Eddie Davis) 7:56
03. Midnight at Mintons (Paul Gonzales) 4:20
04. Second Balcony Jump (Gerry Valentine) 5:24
05. I'll Remember April (Raye-DePaul-Johnston) 6:33
06. Good Bait (Dameron-Basie) 7:39
07. Tickle Toe (Lester Young) 5:26
08. Save Your Love for Me (Buddy Johnson) 7:06
09. Twins [Hackensack] (Thelonious Monk) 6:32 *
01. Funky Fluke (Benny Green) 9:13
02. Imagination (Burke-Van Heusen) 4:26
03. Soft Winds (Goodman-Henderson) 7:16
04. In Walked Bud (Thelonious Monk) 4:36
05. Well, You Neednt (Thelonious Monk) 5:31
06. Ruby My Dear (Thelonious Monk) 4:39 +
[+] Johnny Griffin out
07. Rhythm-a-ning (Thelonious 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 album "Griff & Lock" (Jazzland JLP 942)
CD 1, tracks #7-9 and CD 2 tracks #1-3, from "Tough Tenors" (Jazzland JLP 931)
CD 2, tracks #4-10, from "Lookin' at Monk!" (Jazzland 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 in all tracks:
EDDIE 'LOCKJAW' DAVIS & JOHNNY GRIFFIN Quintet
Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, Johnny Griffin (tenor saxes), Junior Mance (piano), Larry Gales (bass), Ben Riley (drums).
Sessions recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, November 4 & 10 (CD1 & CD2 #1-3), 1960 and February 7 (CD2 #4-10), 1961
Engineered by Ray Fowler
Cover designs by Ken Deardoff & Donald Silverstein
Original recordings produced by Orrin Keepnews
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered