"The Tower of Power," "Long Tall," "LT"you don't acquire such noms de troubadour by being retiring or inconspicuous in your approach to making music. Indeed, Dexter Gordon is such a forceful presence and commanding storyteller that he can be a heavy load, requiring nothing less than the listener's undivided attention. Gettin' Around, a 2006 release of a 2005 Rudy Van Gelder-remastered 1965 session, reveals a more dulcet and demure Gordon. He softens his sound, holds back on the searing top tones, evens out his vibrato, and takes more than a page out of the Lester Young book: this is Gordon in a mellotone, a session that plays well any time and any number of times.
This is not to say the great tenor allusionist isn't up to his usual tricks. On the first chorus of his solo on "Manha de Carnaval," he quotes three bars of Victor Young's "Delilah"; during his own "Le Coiffeur" (a cross between the samba "So Nice" and Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes"), he incorporates Debussy's "Claire de Lune." Finally, Gordon does for the sentimental chestnut "Heartaches," what Hank Mobley does for Irving Berlin's "Remember" on Soul Stationrefreshing it and transforming it into a hip tune. Only on "Very Saxily Yours," excluded from the original LP, does the tenor giant begin to show his customarily aggressive edge.
Bobby Hutcherson stays laid-back and in the pocket, just like Barry Harrisin fact, both musicians assume supportive roles that encourage Gordon to keep the flame burning low. Although this may not be a five-star performance like Go! or Our Man in Paris, don't be surprised if it receives more plays than some of Gordon's more essential recording dates.
Track Listing: Manha de Carnaval; Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me); Heartaches; Shiny
Stockings; Everybody's Somebody's Fool; Le Coiffeur; Very Saxily Yours; Flick of a Trick.
Personnel: Dexter Gordon: tenor saxophone; Bobby Hutcherson: vibes; Barry Harris: piano; Bob
Cranshaw: bass; Billy Higgins: drums.
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.