One of the soul-satisfying joys of the second half-century of jazz was the tenor saxophone partnership of Lockjaw Davis and Johnny Griffin. Regardless who was in their rhythm section, creative sparks flew when Jaws and Griff locked horns. In this case, driven by Norman Simmons, Victor Sproles, and Ben Riley, the tenor terrors were, if anything, hotter than usual. There were other wonderful two-tenor teams in the post-bop era--Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, Frank Foster and Frank Wess; in one unforgettable encounter Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane faced off. But Davis and Griffin had something special and it was honed in appearance after appearance and record date after record date. The album title, Battle Stations, may overstate their contention. They were not at war, but they did compete, and when they did, everybody won.
with Norman Simmons, Victor Sproles, Ben Riley, Junior Mance, Larry Gales, Ben Riley