The Chase!

Gene Ammons / Dexter Gordon

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The Chase! Review

by Scott Yanow

Although Gene Ammons received first billing, his fellow tenor Dexter Gordon is an equal partner on this exciting live bebop set. Expanded from the original LP with a previously unissued ballad medley and a full-length 17-minute rendition of "Wee Dot," and this CD is highly recommended to fans of tenor battles and straight-ahead jazz. "Wee Dot" and the ballad "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" are Gordon's features, while Ammons gets to revive "The Happy Blues," and the two tenors take a pair of songs apiece on the lengthy ballad medley. However, it is their all-out battles on "Lonesome Lover Blues" (which has a spontaneous vocal by Vi Redd) and "The Chase" that are most memorable. With a pair of fine Chicago-based rhythm sections taking turns (pianists John Young and Jodie Christian, bassists Cleveland Eaton and Rufus Reid, and drummers Steve McCall and Wilbur Campbell), Jug and Gordon (who had last recorded together in 1944) are heard in prime, combative form.

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