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Tenor Battles

Alexander Hawkins

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Records be damned, too. In 1957-8, at a Joe Segal-run regular (for a while) Monday night session at the Gate of Horn in Chicago, I heard a band of Ira Sullivan, Griffin, Jodie Christian, Victor Sproles, and Wilbur Campbell play "Night in Tunisia," with Ira on trumpet. Then, after he, Griffin and Jodie played, Ira switched to tenor and he and Griffin went at it.

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It was never recorded (what a shame). I've several tenor "Battles" in my collection, but I once was there (At Jazz Hus Montmartre In Copenhagen), where I listen to a three Tenorbattle with Dexter Gordon, Don Byas, Paul Gonsalves, I wish everybody could have been there, that was truly awesome. They were kicking A.. at each other. I shall never forget it, it lasted until four in the morning.


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In an r&b vein, King Curtis: Night Train (Prestige PRCD-24153) includes It's Party Time with King Curtis, most of which is tenor duets with Sam "The Man" Taylor. A lot of it is too searching for a rock n roll/r & b hit oriented for my taste, but it has its moments when I'm in the right mood.

Good to see Lawrence Kart here!

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