email at

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

playing these days

i'm digging the dexter gordon in particular lately... as i listen to more jazz i keep coming back to the realization that dexter was a monster on tenor sax.. or perhaps i should say he plays the tenor sax the way i like it... lyrical..melodic.. i can't see how anyone can play ballads better than he does....i've been reading a lot about dexter these past few days and the thing is he apparently was the first tenor sax be bop player... started around 1943.... thats a bit of a shock to me that dexter gordon would be considered a be bop sax player but then again that shows how little i understand be bop.. i see dexter gordon as much more of a straight ahead melodic sax player....

i guess my resurgence of interest in dex or long tall dexter as he was known (he was 6 foot 5!) owes much to my having received my "one flight up" blue note 84176 liberty (i.e., second pressing though jacket is original) lp.... anyways reviewers don't tend to give "one flight up" the respect thats accorded to say "go" but i really do like "one flight up".. its a bit more modal on "tanya" and "coppin that dream" which were written by byrd and drew respectively, who support him on the album, but dexter's soloing is wonderful.. a bit less lyrical but perhaps that makes it sound more modern to me and that works...

dexter gordon's story is a fascinating one... started in the early 40s.. got caught in the heroin "fad" of the 50s (a lost decade largely) - had a brief spell in sing city- and stormed back in the early 60s with some blue note classic sides.. then moves to europe for the next 15 years.. can you blame him seeing as how black people were treated in america? returns to a triumphant homecoming in the mid 1970s...stars in "round midnight" in the 80s for which he wins an oscar... just a great story..

No comments:

Blog Archive