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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden