Liner Note Author: Nat Hentoff.
Photographer: Georges Braunschweig.
In his liner notes for the CD edition of this 1977 Norman Granz Jazz in Montreux CD featuring the appearance by tenor sax giant Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Granz commented that he regretted never including the competitive tenor saxophonist as a part of the Jazz at the Philharmonic all-star concerts. Davis, joined by the driving rhythm section of Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and drummer Jimmie Smith, is full of fire during this quartet set, finally issued on DVD in 2005. His gritty, full-bodied tenor is well matched with the rhythm section, which never fails to stimulate him to his very best playing, while the virtuoso solos of Peterson and Brown never intimidate the saxophonist. Highlights include a blistering take of "This Can't Be Love," Davis' bluesy "Telegraph," and the swinging encore of "Blue Lou." The video, originally shot for television broadcast, has held up fairly well, though there is obvious deterioration in sharpness, while the audio portion is flawless. Camera work and editing are generally good, except for odd detours from the action on-stage to some of the overhead decorations in the venue. ~ Ken Dryden