Johnny “Little Giant” Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis: a pair of alpha-male tenor saxophonists intent on blowing each other off the stage. That was the act, anyway. When this double CD was recorded in 1975 they’d been doing it, on and off, for 15 years and were the best of friends. Their styles are easily distinguishable: Griffin fast, sharp and witty, Davis gustily rhetorical. It’s full-on, sweaty stuff – intense, swinging and spiced with outrageous quotes. Such robust self-assurance is rare in jazz today, which makes this newly released souvenir of a night at Onkel Pö’s interestingly named Hamburg jazz club something to savour.
Johnny Griffin and Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis Quintet: At Onkel Pö’s Carnegie Hall review – full-on, sweaty stuff