Dexter Gordon Reviews

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12 Classic Albums: 1947-1962

Review Short stints with Lee Young, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, and Louis Armstrong's big band preceded his move to New York in December 1944 and becoming part of Billy Eckstine's Orchestra, trading off with Gene Ammons on Eckstine's recording of Blowin' the Blues Away. Gordon recorded with Dizzy Gillespie (Blue 'N' Boogie) and as a leader for Savoy before returning to Los Angeles in the summer of 1946. He was a chief part of the Central Avenue scene, trading off with Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards in many legendary tenor clashes. After 1952, drug struggles resulted in some jail time and periods of indolence during the '50s (although Gordon did record two albums in 1955). By 1960, he was recovered and soon he was recording a consistently gratifying series of dates for Blue Note. However, just as he was regaining his former popularity, in 1962 Gordon moved to Europe where he would stay until 1976. This collection of 12 original LP's concentrate on Gordon's early American years up until he left for Europe. His immortal status in Jazz's hall of fame was arguably solidified during this period, with some of his most impressive and progressive playing. With remastered tracks and over 7 hours listening time, this is a seminal volume on the works of one of the true titans of Jazz.
13 Classic Albums: 1954-1960

Review Dexter Gordon considered this his finest album and few would disagree. With the perfect rhythm section of Sonny Clark, Butch Warren and Billy Higgins, this tenor giant reinvents standards like "Three O'Clock In The Morning," "Second Balcony Jump" and "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry" and introduces his most famous composition "Cheese Cake."
12 Classic Albums: 1953-1962 (6CDs)

Review Just before heading off to a 15-year stay in Europe, the stately Dexter Gordon waxed a pair of records for Blue Note in August 1962: this classic and, two days later, A Swingin' Affair. It's been widely reported that Gordon himself considered Go! his greatest achievement, and (if so) it's easy to hear why. Brimming with conviction and poise, Gordon's gentle-giant sax carries itself with a sort of graceful edge that is difficult to emulate. He's always quick with a humorous quote, yet it always seems to fit just right. He's always languishing behind the beat, yet he never seems late. He possesses an enormous tone, yet he never overwhelms the songs or the listener. He sounds unhurried at any speed. His song selection is typically creative, holding little-known ballads close to his brawny chest like a big, cuddly bear. A stellar rhythm section of the elegantly funky pianist Sonny Clark plus Butch Warren and Billy Higgins doesn't hurt either. --Marc Greilsamer
Complete Recordings: 1956-1962 (6CDs)

Review Dexter Gordon had been a European resident for two years when he made this create session, one of the greatest of his career, which reunited him with Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke for the first time since the '40s.

DEXTER GORDON: Tenor Sax
BUD POWELL: Piano
PIERRE MICHELOT: Bass
KENNY CLARKE: Drums

* bonus track, not part of original LP.


The Prestige Years

Review Recorded in 1963, this record finds tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon at the top of his game during his Blue Note days. Leading a high-profile quartet comprised of pianist Bud Powell, drummer Kenny Clarke, and bassist Pierre Michelot, Gordon leaps through the complex "Scrapple from the Apple" with youthful aplomb and then nestles deep inside the bluesy lyricism of "Willow Weep for Me." Gordon's strengths as a balladeer resonate beautifully on "Stairway to the Stars," while his bebop prowess flexes mightily on "A Night in Tunisia." The rhythms crackle, the solos fly; Our Man In Paris is essential Dexter. --John Murph
12 Classic Albums: 1956-1962 [6CD]

Review Dexter Gordon was one of the top ballad players of the '60s. Having already made his name in the bebop era and as an expatriate in Europe, Gordon returned to the States to record a series of fine Blue Note discs during the first half of the decade. This edition of the label's Ballads series features Gordon at his peak and in the company of some of hard bop's best players. Gordon delivers his almost sleepy and smoke-filled solos with real grace. The same can also be said of the rest of this incredible program, including a latter-day live cut from 1978. A perfect set for those in need of a provocative after-hours session in front of the stereo.
The Pacific Jazz Collection (4CD BOX SET)

Review Import only box set features five original albums. Features the original artwork and packaged in card sleeves. Universal.
Complete Albums Collection: 1954-1957 (5CD Box Set)

Review Manhattan Symphonie by Dexter Gordon

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Complete Blue Note Collection: 1957-1960 (4CD Box Set)

Review If asked to name an influential saxophonist of the modern-jazz era, a casual fan would probably first cite John Coltrane or Charlie "Bird" Parker. But tenor saxman Dexter Gordon is as much a giant of the genre as they--his visionary work linked modern jazz's early-1940s infancy to its late-'60s adulthood. Gordon's 1962 relocation to Copenhagen may account for his relative lack of renown today. Homecoming, recorded in 1976 upon a return to New York, proves that in Europe, Gordon had further refined his classic mastery of ballads and blues. More intriguingly, the teacher had become the student, as the abundant influence of Coltrane's free-jazz breakthroughs attest. --Anders Smith-Lindall
Complete Blue Note Collection: 1954-1957 (4CD Box Set)

Review Limited edition Japanese pressing. Sony.
Twelve Classic Albums: 1959-1962

Review Short stints with Lee Young, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, and Louis Armstrong's big band preceded his move to New York in December 1944 and becoming part of Billy Eckstine's Orchestra, trading off with Gene Ammons on Eckstine's recording of Blowin' the Blues Away. Gordon recorded with Dizzy Gillespie (Blue 'N' Boogie) and as a leader for Savoy before returning to Los Angeles in the summer of 1946. He was a chief part of the Central Avenue scene, trading off with Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards in many legendary tenor clashes. After 1952, drug struggles resulted in some jail time and periods of indolence during the '50s (although Gordon did record two albums in 1955). By 1960, he was recovered and soon he was recording a consistently gratifying series of dates for Blue Note. However, just as he was regaining his former popularity, in 1962 Gordon moved to Europe where he would stay until 1976. This collection of 12 original LP's concentrate on Gordon's early American years up until he left for Europe. His immortal status in Jazz's hall of fame was arguably solidified during this period, with some of his most impressive and progressive playing. With remastered tracks and over 7 hours listening time, this is a seminal volume on the works of one of the true titans of Jazz.
Go! (RVG Edition)

Review Dexter Gordon considered this his finest album and few would disagree. With the perfect rhythm section of Sonny Clark, Butch Warren and Billy Higgins, this tenor giant reinvents standards like "Three O'Clock In The Morning," "Second Balcony Jump" and "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry" and introduces his most famous composition "Cheese Cake."
Soul Station

Review Just before heading off to a 15-year stay in Europe, the stately Dexter Gordon waxed a pair of records for Blue Note in August 1962: this classic and, two days later, A Swingin' Affair. It's been widely reported that Gordon himself considered Go! his greatest achievement, and (if so) it's easy to hear why. Brimming with conviction and poise, Gordon's gentle-giant sax carries itself with a sort of graceful edge that is difficult to emulate. He's always quick with a humorous quote, yet it always seems to fit just right. He's always languishing behind the beat, yet he never seems late. He possesses an enormous tone, yet he never overwhelms the songs or the listener. He sounds unhurried at any speed. His song selection is typically creative, holding little-known ballads close to his brawny chest like a big, cuddly bear. A stellar rhythm section of the elegantly funky pianist Sonny Clark plus Butch Warren and Billy Higgins doesn't hurt either. --Marc Greilsamer
Saxophone Colossus [Reissue]

Review Dexter Gordon had been a European resident for two years when he made this create session, one of the greatest of his career, which reunited him with Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke for the first time since the '40s.

DEXTER GORDON: Tenor Sax
BUD POWELL: Piano
PIERRE MICHELOT: Bass
KENNY CLARKE: Drums

* bonus track, not part of original LP.


Somethin' Else (RVG Edition)

Review Recorded in 1963, this record finds tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon at the top of his game during his Blue Note days. Leading a high-profile quartet comprised of pianist Bud Powell, drummer Kenny Clarke, and bassist Pierre Michelot, Gordon leaps through the complex "Scrapple from the Apple" with youthful aplomb and then nestles deep inside the bluesy lyricism of "Willow Weep for Me." Gordon's strengths as a balladeer resonate beautifully on "Stairway to the Stars," while his bebop prowess flexes mightily on "A Night in Tunisia." The rhythms crackle, the solos fly; Our Man In Paris is essential Dexter. --John Murph
Our Man In Paris

Review Dexter Gordon was one of the top ballad players of the '60s. Having already made his name in the bebop era and as an expatriate in Europe, Gordon returned to the States to record a series of fine Blue Note discs during the first half of the decade. This edition of the label's Ballads series features Gordon at his peak and in the company of some of hard bop's best players. Gordon delivers his almost sleepy and smoke-filled solos with real grace. The same can also be said of the rest of this incredible program, including a latter-day live cut from 1978. A perfect set for those in need of a provocative after-hours session in front of the stereo.
Moanin'

Review Import only box set features five original albums. Features the original artwork and packaged in card sleeves. Universal.
Speak No Evil

Review Manhattan Symphonie by Dexter Gordon

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


The Sidewinder

Review If asked to name an influential saxophonist of the modern-jazz era, a casual fan would probably first cite John Coltrane or Charlie "Bird" Parker. But tenor saxman Dexter Gordon is as much a giant of the genre as they--his visionary work linked modern jazz's early-1940s infancy to its late-'60s adulthood. Gordon's 1962 relocation to Copenhagen may account for his relative lack of renown today. Homecoming, recorded in 1976 upon a return to New York, proves that in Europe, Gordon had further refined his classic mastery of ballads and blues. More intriguingly, the teacher had become the student, as the abundant influence of Coltrane's free-jazz breakthroughs attest. --Anders Smith-Lindall
Mingus Ah Um

Review Limited edition Japanese pressing. Sony.

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