Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Eddie Lockjaw Davis - 1960 - Trane Whistle

Eddie Lockjaw Davis 
1960 
Trane Whistle


01. Trane Whistle 6:05
02. Whole Nelson 3:25
03. You Are Too Beautiful 5:00
04. The Stolen Moment 7:40
05. Walk Away 5:15
06. Jaws 4:28

Bass – Wendell Marshall
Drums – Roy Haynes
Piano – Richard Wyands
Reeds – Eric Dolphy, George Barrow, Jerome Richardson, Oliver Nelson, Bob Ashton
Tenor Saxophone – Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
Trombone – Jimmy Cleveland, Melba Liston
Trumpet – Bob Bryant, Clark Terry, Richard Williams


This CD reissue brings back an Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis session in which the distinctive tenor saxophonist is joined by a 13-piece big band arranged by Oliver Nelson. Most significant is the inclusion of the original version of "Stolen Moments" (here called "The Stolen Moment" and predating the more famous Oliver Nelson recording by several months). Eric Dolphy is in the backup group but is not heard from in a solo capacity. There are some spots for trumpeters Richard Williams, Clark Terry and Bobby Bryant along with Nelson on alto but this is primarily Davis' showcase. On a set comprised of four Oliver Nelson originals, the ballad "You Are Too Beautiful" and the leader's "Jaws," Lockjaw as usual shows plenty of emotion during his driving solos.

The inclusion of Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis' "Trane Whistle" on "The Complete Prestige Recordings of Eric Dolphy" was a matter of some controversy. Technically the iconoclastic reedman did play on Davis' big band recording, but as he occupied one of five saxophone chairs and was not a featured soloist, it seemed superfluous. But I suppose complete means complete. In any event, Dolphy fans will be disappointed by his lack of a meaningful contribution, but if you can get passed that, "Trane Whistle" is a solid big band date. This September 1960 recording finds some big names, in addition to Dolphy, in Lockjaw's big band -- Clark Terry, Melba Liston, George Barrow, Roy Haynes and Oliver Nelson (who did the arrangements as well) to name a few. The album features a terrific version of Nelson's signature "Stolen Moments," and the title track and "Whole Nelson" aren't too shabby either. Overall, I would probably rate this disc three-and-a-half stars if I could since I'm not a huge big band fan, but those of you who are will thoroughly enjoy "Trane Whistle."

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