Monday, February 27, 2023

Ten Times Tenor: Dexter Gordon 100

Dexter Gordon Quartet - Jelly Jelly

I'm gonna close out February with the obvious choice.

I know I've covered him before, but when someone turns 100 I suspend the no-repetition rules a little.

Especially someone of this magnitude.

My friend Doug -- no small sax talent himself -- calls him The Quotemaster.

Which is accurate, especially when you play the show I am sharing and hear him work "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Hello Dolly" and "Summertime" into the same four bars of soloing.

One of the seminal Jazz cats that split the US for Europe rather than endure the primitive abuse of his inbred inferiors, and when he returned in the late 1970s it was the event of the decade in the music.

One of those guys that seemed to have access to the whole songbook of the world inside his horn, he is often thought of as one of the top 10 all-time on the tenor.

We'll voyage back 50 years to February of 1973, which finds our hero on the airwaves of the city with which he was perhaps most associated.

Dexter Gordon Quartet
Studio 104
Maison de la Radio
Paris, France

01 Fried Bananas
02 Days of Wine and Roses
03 Didn't We?
04 Some of the Blues
05 Jelly Jelly

Total time: 53:04

Dexter Gordon - tenor saxophone & vocals on Track 05
Georges Arvanitas - piano
Alby Cullaz - bass
Daniel Humair - drums

off-air digital capture of a mono 2017 France Musique rebroadcast
volume boosted +2.5dB throughout by EN, February 2023
257 MB FLAC/direct link

So Dexter Gordon -- born this day in 1923 -- is 100 today, and we'll use that occasion to wrap up another Black History Month on this page... not that every month isn't BHM on here.

I had a backup go bad, so I'm going to back up my big drive over the next few days, but I'll be back in March to help your music collection Spring forward and get all swollen like a mountain stream.

Don't sleep on this Dexentennial post, though... or Dexter will insert a mystery snippet of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into every album on your shelf!--J.

2.27.1923 - 4.25.1990