Analog Planet Rated 9/10 Music, 9/10 Sonics!
Released to celebrate tenor jazz saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' centennial, this package brings together the albums Cookbook, Vol. 1, Cookbook, Vol. 2, Cookbook, Vol. 3, & Smokin', which he recorded with organist Shirley Scott.
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI and newly remastered from the original analog tapes by Bernie Grundman, the package also features new liner notes by journalist Willard Jenkins.
Recorded across three 1958 sessions at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in New Jersey, the four albums remastered and re-pressed for this set are ideal representatives for what we call soul-jazz, that joyous and funky combination that brought together the improvisational freedom of the latter genre with the swinging grooves of the former. These records are also prime examples of the musical conflagrations that can be created by putting two strong artistic personalities in a studio together. That's why tenor saxophonist Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis and organist Shirley Scott get top billing on the album sleeves. They take up that much real estate on these recordings. The two are responsible for the bulk of the compositions here, either on their own or co-writing them together. Those co-writes, released on Cookbook, Vol. 2 and Smokin', are the highlights of this collection, as the pair engage in some melodic tussling on the electrifying 'Jaws' and a slow tango on the sultry 'Skillet.' Davis opens up in a way he rarely did when working with Scott as he reached for some ineffable expression of joy or sexual longing or despair in his playing. Scott nudged him long throughout with chords and solos that encouraged or dared to push back on Davis. The middle ground between the two is taken up by equally fine players, especially Jerome Richardson who adds a nice timbral balance with his flute and occasional baritone sax. Everyone cooks, but it's Richardson who keeps the temperature steady and even.
I am enjoying listening to this collection so much that I am now seriously considering purging most of my original mono pressings — though I would hold on to the alternate cover version of Vol. 1 — because I question whether I'll be listening to them again. Regardless, the collection is a fun box set to listen to, and ultimately a solid value. If you've been seeking stereo editions of any or all of this Cookbook music most especially, you'll probably want to grab a copy of the box set for yourself, post-haste.
- Limited Edition - 5,000 Copies Worldwide
- 4LP Box Set
- 180g Vinyl
- Remastered from the Original Analog Tapes by Bernie Grundman
- Pressed at RTI
- Released in Celebration of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' Centennial
- Includes: The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbook, Vol. 1 (1958), The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbook, Vol. 2 (1959), The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbook, Vol. 3 (with Shirley Scott)  & Smokin' (with Shirley Scott) 
- Tip-On Jackets
- 20-Page Book
- New Liner Notes by Journalist Willard Jenkins
|Jerome Richardson||flute, tenor saxophone (Vol. 1 & 3; Smokin'), baritone saxophone (Vol. 3; Smokin')|
|Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis||tenor saxophone|
First Course - Cookbook, Vol. 1
- Have Horn, Will Blow
- The Chef
- But Beautiful
- In The Kitchen
- Three Deuces
Second Course - Cookbook, Vol. 2
- The Rev
- I Surrender Dear
- The Broilers
Third Course - Cookbook, Vol. 3
- I'm Just A Lucky So And So
- Heat 'N' Serve
- My Old Flame
- The Goose Hangs High
- Strike Up The Band
Fourth Course - Smokin'
- High Fry
- Smoke This
- Pennies From Heaven
- Pots And Pans
- It's A Blue World
- Blue Lou