Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

Straight Blues

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As earthy and true-blue as the disc's title, the huge, abrasive yet joyous tenor sax of Jaws is showcased in a variety of settings in this compilation from Prestige's heyday in the '50s and '60s. Since the CD is constantly expanding and contracting in personnel, from the Red Garland Trio to a big band with several stops in between, there is no listener fatigue even though the menu is mostly blues. Shirley Scott's grunting organ can be heard pumping up the truckin' Lockjaw rhythm section on "Heat 'N' Serve," "Pots and Pans" and "The Rev"; these tracks helped launch her in the soul-jazz world. We also hear the fine, wailing, little-known first version of "Stolen Moments" with a big band led by the composer Oliver Nelson (with Nelson and Eric Dolphy in the ranks); indeed, Lockjaw can be said to have launched Nelson the arranger, too. The stray Pablo track from 1976 is a combo date with Count Basie and "Sweets" Edison on open horn, "Edison's Lights." Everything here has been reissued on CD previously, so the Lockjaw completist fringe needn't apply.

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