Renowned tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis honed his jazz chops during stints with the bands of Cootie Williams, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie. The jazz great Ben Webster is also credited as being Davis' major musical influence. The two albums brought together on this disc were originally recorded for RCA and feature liner notes by Davis himself. Key tracks include "The Days Of Wine and Roses," "People Will Say We're In Love," and "Born To Be Blue."
2 LPs on 1 CD: LOCK, THE FOX (1966)/THE FOX & THE HOUNDS (1967).
Personnel: Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor saxophone); Ross Tomkins (piano); Les Spann (guitar); Russell George (bass); Chuck Lampkin (drums); Ray Barretto (conga drums).
Originally released on RCA (3652) & RCA (3741). Includes liner notes by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis.
Personnel: Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor saxophone); Les Spann (electric guitar); Ross Tompkins (piano); Chuck Lampkin (drums); Ray Barretto (congas).
This CD compilation contains the complete contents of two albums made (Lock the Fox and The Fox & the Hounds) by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis for RCA during the mid-'60s. The first half of the disc finds the tenor saxophonist 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. The packaging doesn't do justice to the second part of the disc, as there is no credit given to members of the big band supporting Davis, which includes Ernie Royal, Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Urbie Green, Jimmy Cleveland,J.J. Johnson, Hank Jones, Roland Hanna, and Gene Bertoncini among the rotating cast from two days of recording. Alto saxophonist Bobby Plater, a veteran of Lionel Hampton's band and a comrade of Edison's while both men were working for Count Basie, contributed the arrangements. Once again the tracks are relatively brief, with the spotlight on the leader and the all-stars present relegated to providing rhythm and section work. As a result, this reissue falls short of being an essential acquisition, though it is recommended. ~ Ken Dryden