Dexter Gordon

Come Rain or Shine

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Dexter Gordon is a legendary figure in jazz for many reasons. He was among the first to transfer the characteristics and style of bebop innovator Charlie Parker to the tenor saxophone. His career spanned from 1940 until his death in 1990. He played the lead role in the French/American film "'Round Midnight" in 1986 (and got an Oscar nomination). He possessed one of the biggest, most durable, romantic (without being soppy), swaggering (without excess) and recognizable tenor sounds in jazz history. No innovator, but a stylist of the highest order.

This wonderfully recorded set captures Gordon in live performance in '67, in his then-hometown of Copenhagen, backed by a band that he worked with frequently (so much so their interplay is practically telepathic): pianist Kenny Drew, drummer Al "Tootie" Heath, and Euro-bass-ace Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. They swing the standards like nobody's business, with the highlight being a 15-minute "But Not For Me" where everyone, especially Gordon, gets to shine and strut their stuff. Fine stuff, for Gordon fans, and for those just getting into him--or into mainstream jazz ('60s division) for that matter.

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