Johnny Griffin, Eddie Lockjaw Davis - Lookin' at Monk! (APE+CUE)
Please keep seeding until 3:1 ratio.
Originally recorded in 1961, this tribute program features two of the best tenor saxophonists of the period along with pianist Junior Mance and a rhythm section composed of bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley (both of whom would later work as Thelonious Monk sidemen). If the program seems a bit obvious ("'Round Midnight," "Epistrophy," "Well, You Needn't," etc.), bear in mind that this was only the second all-Monk program anyone had recorded and several of these numbers had yet to attain standard status. The playing is uniformly inventive and witty (both required attributes when approaching this repertoire), and Mance is particularly to be commended for maintaining a graceful and elegant attack and not trying to praise Monk by imitation. If there's a complaint to be made here, it's with the tempos, which sometimes verge on the headlong. The arrangement of "Well, You Needn't" suffers from too much forward momentum, as does "I Mean You." On the other hand, the group's vigorous approach to "Rhythm-a-ning" (and the honking two-note tag they append to the head) is perfect.
Personnel: Johnny Griffin, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor saxophone); Junior Mance (piano); Larry Gales (bass); Ben Riley (drums).
01 In Walked Bud
02 Well, You Needn't
03 Ruby, My Dear
06 'Round Midnight
07 Stickball (I Mean You)