July 19, 2024


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CD review: Dexter Gordon Quartet – Willisau 1978 – 2021: Video, CD cover

One of the last important and extremely successful times in Dexter Gordon’s life can be titled “Homecoming”. In 1976 the tenor saxophonist, who had almost been forgotten in the USA due to his long stay in Europe, made a name for himself again in New York’s Village Vanguard.

Regardless of his frenetically celebrated comeback, the stately, almost two meter tall, always dressed in the latest fashion “Long Tall Dexter” toured sporadically through Europe. His appearance in the federal state of Willisau in 1978 is an excellent example of this. In the past, the saxophonist formed mostly short-term bands. With the pianist George Cables, the bassist Rufus Reid and the drummer Eddie Gladden he had found protagonists who would become his regular cast for the next few years.

The first notes of the standard “On Green Dolphin Street” and the subsequent “Jumpin‘ Blues ”confirm Gordon’s choice. To the full esprit choruses of the leader, in whose concise sound cool and bop united, the band brought in formidable additions both in the accompaniment and as a soloist. In “Old Folks” Cables shines with sensitive chains of motifs, Reid in “Strollin‘ ”with energetic bass stories and in“ Hi-Fly ”the drummer doesn’t miss out. A memorable concert!

01. On Green Dolphin Street (15:32)
02. The Jumpin’ Blues (09:35)
03. Hi-Fly (14:06)
04. Old Folks (16:29)
05. Strollin’ (15:07)

Dexter Gordon – tenor sax
George Cables – piano
Rufus Reid – bass
Eddie Gladden – drums

Dexter Gordon Quartet – Willisau 1978 (2021, CD) - Discogs

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