Album Details

Jazz, Mainstream Jazz, Saxophone Jazz, Jazz Instrument

Album Review

Coming from the heart of the Count Basie bands, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis might seem an odd pair. The stoic Edison, able to straddle swing to bop with an ease rivaled by only Clark Terry, with Dizzy Gillespie or Fats Navarro as parallels on the bop side, played with a clean, professional efficiency that made him a true legend. Davis, who was known as a multi-faceted tenor saxophonist, dipped from the deep wellspring of the blues, was an R&B bar walker at times, but preferred a clipped yet refined approach that served him well over decades of jazz evolution. Though neither were expatriates, they found themselves in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1976 for these session that feature the brilliant pianist Kenny Drew, who did abandon the U.S. for Europe, and in his prime on these dates later in his life. There are four sextet tracks with trombonist John Darville joining, including the far too brief but hard bopping "C Jam Blues," Lou Donaldson's "Blues Walk," a 12-bar groove that was not ever linked to either Edison or Davis, the call and response laden "Lester Leaps In," and the laid-back rhythm on the bopper "Robbin's Nest." As a quintet, Sweets and Lockjaw cozy up on the cool blues "Opus Funk" and the Coleman Hawkins piece "Spotlite," playing the end of the melody line phrase which was turned into "Woody 'n' You" by Dizzy Gillespie. Drew is truly outstanding, digging in on "Opus Funk," using cascading arpeggiated dexterity on the stunning intro of "You Are Too Beautiful" in duet with Davis, and on the other emotional end of the spectrum, comping deep, blue and somber during "Angel Eyes." The good feelings of the front line mates is clear to understand and thoroughly enjoy, the sound is as good as it gets, and the song choices offers enough variation within the mainstream jazz model to keep things interesting. Astute listeners should note how Edison carries the play to Davis -- check out his presence on "Candy" or the bluesy, walking style he emotes on "Lullabye for Dancers," where he demonstrates his love of playing exactly on the beat. While not totally dominant, his is the stronger voice. This is a welcome item of many from the Storyville catalog (once issued on a Mobile Fidelity LP,) recommended without hesitation, and worth searching for.
Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Opus Funk
  2. You Are Too Beautiful
  3. Robbin's Nest
  4. Candy
  5. There Is No Greater Love
  6. The "C" Jam Blues
  7. Lullabye for Dancers
  8. Lester Leaps In
  9. Spotlite
  10. Blues Walk
  11. Angel Eyes