Dexter Gordon

Jazz at Highschool

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Dexter Gordon is represented by a large discography, though the late '60s are little documented. The discovery of this previously unissued radio broadcast from 1969 is a real treasure, as the tenor saxophonist is in superb form, accompanied by some of his favorite musicians: pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels-Henning ├śrsted Pedersen, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. He revisits "Soy Califa," an original written for a Blue Note session earlier in the decade; this hard bop vehicle opens the show with a flourish. Gordon and Drew share the spotlight in a sensitive treatment of "The Shadow of Your Smile." His loping blues "Society Red" features Pedersen's incredible solo work, while "The Blues Up and Down" (co-written by fellow tenor saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons) works perfectly well for Gordon without a sparring partner on his instrument. Beautifully recorded with excellent balance between the musicians and an attentive, respectful audience, it should be considered a mandatory purchase for hard bop fans.

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