Long before album-length tributes to Thelonious Monk became commonplace, Tough Tenors Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin assembled this exciting and challenging survey of the pianist's music. (The only previous all-Monk effort by someone other than Monk himself was Steve Lacy's Reflections, OJC-063.) This quintet was more qualified for the task than many realized at the time, for in addition to Monk alumnus Griffin it contained future Monk sidemen Larry Gales and Ben Riley. Co-leader Davis, who came out of the same Harlem after-hours scene that nurtured Monk, also sounds totally at home with the material, while pianist Junior Mance stresses the Bud Powell side of his conception. The results are cogent and hard-swinging, with simple yet effective arranging touches. Griffin is featured on "'Round Midnight" and takes the opening solo on "Stickball" (aka "I Mean You"), while Davis handles "Ruby, My Dear" and blows first on the remaining titles.