Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A. K. L. | Steilacoom, WA USA | 01/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the lost jewels of the bebop era, this masterpiece features the bossest tenors in the business, plus blues-drenched Junior Mance at the keyboard, for a dazzling live set so full of passion you can hardly stay in your seat. Both tenors were at the top of their form, never better than when they were together, drawing out the fire in each other, not so much in competition as in mutual respect. Griffin is a technician advanced as Coltrane or Rollins in his melodic agility. Lockjaw Davis has, well, the jaws. His embrochure and tone are only rivalled by Ben Webster: but while Ben is the poet, Lockjaw is the virtuoso. Together, Lockjaw and Grif burn brighter than any tenor tandem in bebop, and that includes the bosses, Stitt and Ammons.This tenor tandem recorded at least ten albums together. Noteworthy is their selection of tunes. While most tenor duos jammed on simple riffs, these two chose the complex melodies and harmonics of Thelonious Monk. This music is both emotional and intellectually challenging. The crowd at Minton's that night was really into the music, and their backround presence on the recording only makes the music more gritty, more real. And you are right there! This quintet ought to be rediscovered NOW!"
THIS IS A GREAT ONE!
Kim D. Hoffman | LA California | 04/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great tenor sax record. These guys really play on this one. A must for any Hard Bop collection."
Griff and Lock break some jaws!
Schubert aficionado | CA United States | 08/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two masters of the tenor nearly always sound good, and perhaps never better alone than they do together.The thrill of the audience will be perfectly understandable to you. Griff, Lock, Mance, Gales (that thumping bass!) Riley, in the pocket, this is blues-tingued, feeling the spirit jazz. The secret of their comraderie is respect and professionalism, dualing not to cut the other down, but to aspire to a higher summer. And Griff and Lock do aspire. This album is not studio work, and perhaps for that a touch hotter than Blues Up and Down, but that album(actually a collection of two different dates)has plenty of heat too. They start with a composition by Griff, Camp Meeting, which will have you bopping. The horns are charging, growling, wailing, and singing too (this is no honk fest or Pharoah Sanders blow harder than the next guy routine)--this is the steeped in the blues of Harlem, the same Harlem of Monk, who made Griff his tenor after Trane left.AND Monk begged Keepness to recruit Griff for the label before Blue Note got him. Since he didn't get along with Gelder (I'm taking Griff's side no matter what) he ended up at Prestige, and Monk got stuck with Charlie Rouse. Lockjaw made his name with Cootie Williams and then Basie before making his Cookin albums, which are good, but as I said, pale beside his work with Griffin. These men brought it out of each other--and what I love in addition to their sound is their play. If you can hear a smile through a saxophone, if you can here a laugh through a sax, you're going to hear it from these guys. Now, not all their albums together are great. This one is great. The Tenor Scene is great. And the other album from that glorious night at Minton's, Live at Minton's is Great. Now let me be straight and tell you what is not their best, and I advise listening to these only if you become a Griff-Lock Head like me. Tough Tenor Favorites--no so good. Just missing the sophisticated inter play of the above albums. Why? I don't know, but their missing Junior Mance at the keys, he is the funky Chicago piano man that grooves, grooves, and like a similar artist, Bobby Timmons, never really got his name out there as a leader. The last you should stay away from is the Monk covers album. What happened? You listen to Misterio, Griff is wiping the floor with Monk (with Monk's genial consent of course--I mean, he negotiates Monk, and Monkians will know what I mean. So why does this cover album suck? Perhaps Griff and Lock thought they could do this without Monk's careful time, and the charging just rush through without nuance. And these guys had nuance to spare. Just not that day. Maybe they wanted to make something out of Monk compositions they didn't lend themselves for.
As much as I hate to put down an album, I remember, "Heh! The Stones did Her Majesties Satanic Services. Miles Davis did Around the Corner. Barry Gibb sang with Barbra Streisand. Even the best have bad days.
And when I say best, I mean better than Stitt and Ammons with their cliche runs, laborious burners, Sonny's gimmicky varitone horn, and greasy organ from bores like McDuff and even worse Patterson. Those are terribly dated. You wonder if Bird could have heard Stitt meets Brother Jack, would Sonny Criss have been the man with the keys. Peace.