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Johnny Griffin and Eddie “LockJaw” Davis: Tough Tenors Back Again!

The two member group arose from the on-stage “duels” between big band hornmen in the ’40s, which themselves were a kind of formalized version of the after-hours cutting sessions of the ’30s. Davis, who spent a year with Basie in the ’50s, and Griffin, who was with Hampton for two years, together made a batch of LPs before disbanding. Later on they managed to hook up from time to time and this 1984 recording-“previously unissued”-finds them in a Copenhagen club. Working on familiar ground-mainly uptempo blues-Lockjaw (as ever) takes the first solo, blasting out of the starting gate and leaving Griffin to pick up the pieces as only he can. Davis is more ebullient while Griffin stealthily sneaks into the fray then slowly puts the heat to the beat. Absolutely no surprises here, just a lot of balls-to-the-walls playing.

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