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Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis
*Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis was born on this date in 1922. He was a Black jazz tenor saxophonist.
Born in New York City, Edward F. Davis began to make his mark on the jazz scene in New York when Davis 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.
Early in his career, he displayed a marked affinity with the strict school of Texas tenors. Davis played with Cootie Williams, Lucky Millinder, Andy Kirk, Eddie Bonnemere, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie, leading his bands and making many recordings as a leader. He played in the swing, bop, hard bop, Latin jazz, and soul jazz genres. Some of his recordings from the 1940s also are classified as rhythm and blues.
His 1946 band, Eddie Davis and His Beboppers, featured Fats Navarro, Al Haig, Huey Long, Gene Ramey, and Denzil Best. In the 1950s, he played with Sonny Stitt, while from 1960 to 1962, he and fellow tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin led a quintet. From the mid-1960s, Davis and Griffin also performed as part of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band, along with other, mainly European, jazz musicians. Eddie Davis died on November 3, 1986, of Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer in Culver City, California.
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