Thursday, 26 October 2017

Dexter Gordon - Darn That Dream

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  • Published on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:51
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Dexter Gordon - Darn That Dream

Darn That Dream- 9:08
Now's The Time- 13:57
Satin Doll- 14:40
What's New- 8:41

Dexter Gordon - Darn That Dream

Dexter Gordon had a long career split between two continents. Among his early employers in the 1940s and 1950s were Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong, Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie, an ample training ground for the young tenor saxophonist. He engaged in tenor battles on record with Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards while back on the west coast. Drug addiction resulted in jail time and a hiatus from recording opportunities in the early 1950s, though his star rose with a flurry of recordings in the 1960s as a leader for Blue Note. One of many jazz artists who departed for Europe, where race problems were minimal and work plentiful, Gordon worked extensively around Copenhagen and made recordings for many labels. His triumphant return to the U.S. was marked by his signing with Columbia, first major label contract, while he would also record once more for Blue Note. As his health began to decline, Gordon also starred in the film Round Midnight essentially playing a character much like himself, earning an Academy Award nomination. Gordon also made a guest appearance in several episodes of the television series Crime Story. Dexter Gordon died in 1990 at the age of sixty-seven.

Black Lion recorded three consecutive nights of Dexter Gordon at Jazzhuis Montmartre in July 1967, releasing several albums from the first two days. Four songs from the final night, July 22, were chosen for an additional LP but never issued. Gordon’s quartet at the time included fellow expatriates Kenny Drew on piano and drummer Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath, with the young Danish virtuoso bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen rounding out the band. Like many of the tenor saxophonist’s live performances, the four tracks from this evening tend to be lengthy blowing vehicles. Gordon’s mastery of ballads is evident in “Darn That Dream” and the extended workout of “What’s New,” displaying his knowledge of the songs’ lyrics in his solo in the tradition of Ben Webster, telling his story without words. Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time” spreads the spotlight around, featuring potent solos by Gordon, Drew and Pedersen in turn. The quartet’s jaunty take of “Satin Doll” keeps this popular tune from sounding hackneyed. Anyone familiar with the previous recordings from this extended 1967 gig will welcome these newly discovered treasures.

 

 

 
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