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Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis/Johnny Griffin Quintet: Blues Up and Down

In addition to Blues Up and Down, this Davis-Griffin CD also includes Griff and Lock, which is perhaps the more interesting date, as the “tough tenor” aspect of things isn’t worked quite as hard. Not that there’s anything wrong with hearing these two great players tear up blues changes, but material like “Camp Meeting” doesn’t date all that well. On the other hand, to the extent that the aim here is to celebrate the two-tenor format as exemplified by such earlier match-ups as Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt or Dexter Gordon-Wardell Gray, you can’t argue with the Davis-Griffin Quintet, who did it better than anybody. Larry Gales and Ben Riley are a swinging and responsive rhythm team, and pianist Lloyd Mayers was a fine, bluesy player, though the man he replaced, Junior Mance (heard on Griff and Lock), was even better.

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