Eddie Lockjaw Davis was one musician who provided a link from the big band era through to the soul jazz phenomenon of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Davis developed one of the most unmistakable tenor sax sounds in post war jazz. With a full bodied yet reedy tone that was equally at home in rhythm & blues settings as more modern contexts, his playing always had a direct, singing quality that was a huge influence on the next generation of sax men.
Davis began to make his mark on the jazz scene in New York when he worked at Clark Monroe's Uptown House in the late 30s. Despite this establishment's close ties with the emergence of bebop a few years later, Davis' tenor saxophone playing was rooted in swing and the blues, and early in his career he displayed a marked affinity with the tough school of Texas tenors. In the early 40s he worked with a number of big bands, including those of Cootie Williams, Lucky Millinder and Andy Kirk. He also led his own small group for club and record sessions.
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