Dexter Gordon

The Rainbow People

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    8
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This previously unreleased live recording, from a 1974 Scandinavian tour, highlights the strong partnership of Dexter Gordon and trumpeter Benny Bailey. Backed by a European rhythm section, the two stretch out on four long tracks: an easygoing "C Jam Blues," a Bailey ballad feature on "I Can't Get Started," and two Gordon originals, the minor-key bop vehicle "Montmartre" and the slow-grooving title track. Happily, the disc captures Gordon in excellent form. From the very first minutes, his tonal command and forceful yet laid-back swing transport the listener. Bailey's playing is extroverted, full of brash wit. One hates to sound like an old crank and say they don't make 'em like this anymore, but the feeling is practically unavoidable. There's a dramatic hike in volume six or so minutes into "Montmartre," but otherwise the recording is unblemished.

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