Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon had been an expatriate since 1963 when he discovered Europe was where the consistently paying jazz gigs were to be found. In 1976 he returned to the States and began recording for Columbia Records and also embarked on an acting career. Sony Legacy repackaged and re-released six Dexter Gordon albums of that era in their entirety with mini-LP sleeves and original cover art: Homecoming: Live at the Village Vanguard (1976), Sophisticated Giant (1977), Manhattan Symphonie (1978), Live at Carnegie Hall (1978), and Gotham City (1980).
This excellent Columbia album was recorded less than a year after Dexter Gordon's well-publicized tour of the United States following a dozen years spent living in Europe. With assistance from such other major players as trumpeters Woody Shaw and Benny Bailey, vibraphonist Bobby Gordon sounds in superlative form on Woody Shaw's "The Moontrame," four standards and his own "Fried Bananas." In addition to the original program (which features Dexter with an all-star tentet), the 1997 CD reissue adds two 1979 features for vocalese singer Eddie Jefferson ("Diggin' It" and "It's Only a Paper Moon") which were originally released on Gordon's Great Encounters; trumpeter Shaw and trombonist Curtis Fuller co-star with Gordon. An excellent acquisition.
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax) entered the 1970s — as well as his career’s quarter-century mark — on a definite upstroke with the sly, sexy — and above else — stylish platter The Panther! (1970). Gordon commands a quartet whose membership boasts luminaries Tommy Flanagan (piano), Larry Ridley (bass), and Alan Dawson (drums). Remarkably — or perhaps simply a testament to Gordon and company’s prowess — the album’s half-dozen sides all hail from a single early July 1970 get-together. The material is divided between outstanding interpretations of the Great American Songbook classic “Body and Soul,” the Mel Tormé co-penned seasonal standard “The Christmas Song” aka “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” Clifford Brown’s “Blues Walk,” and a trio of Gordon originals.
The harmonically advanced trumpeter Thad Jones is a perfect contrast to the tenor of Dexter Gordon on this enjoyable Prestige LP. Gordon was somewhat forgotten in the United States at the time (his "comeback" was still four years away), but is in excellent form on the four numbers, particularly during a passionate version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."
Go is the tenth studio album by jazz musician Dexter Gordon, recorded on August 27, 1962 and released in the same year on Blue Note. According to the liner notes by Ira Gitler, this session was "not recorded in a nightclub performance but, in its informal symmetry, it matches the relaxed atmosphere that the best of those made in that manner engender. Everyone was really together, in all the most positive meanings of that word." It was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. Since its release, Go has received very positive reviews from critics, with Allmusic giving it a five star rating. The album was re-released in March 1999 as part of Blue Note's RVG Series, produced by Michael Cuscuna.
Jazz Undulation is an exciting live album that captured tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin in an interesting and unusual setting. Bassist Jimmy Woode and drummer Kenny Clarke were frequent collaborators of Griffin's at the time, all three living in Europe and being members of the Clarke-Boland Big Band. Pianist Hampton Hawes was visiting Europe at the time, and probably just happened to meet them in Rome.
A play and an alto saxophonist pulled Dexter Gordon out of West Coast obscurity in 1960 and helped revive the bebop pioneer's career. The play was The Connection, which included a performing jazz band in its cast and inspired a classic original score from Freddie Redd as well as subsequent compositions by Kenny Drew, Cecil Payne, and Cecil Taylor. Gordon was the play's musical director in his hometown of Los Angeles, and some of Gordon's score is documented here. Cannonball Adderley produced the session (and many others for Riverside/Jazzland at the time).