As a young teen in the early 70’s, my audiophile-jazz enthusiast father figured the timing was right for me to diversify my listening habits by donating saxophonist Dexter Gordon’s 1975 release, Tangerine to my then – sparse but growing LP collection.. Yes, there was life after Hendrix, “The Who” and “The Rolling Stones”!
Featuring bass hero Stanley Clarke, trumpeter-flugelhornist-bandleader Thad Jones and his equally prolific brother, pianist Hank Jones along with the impeccable Louis Hayes manning the drums, Tangerine while perhaps not Gordon’s glowing artistic achievement stands as one of his most alluring and accessible accomplishments. - Dexter Gordon did indeed impart his indelible and altogether stylistic brand of Bop on my then - rapidly evolving musical tastes, as my vinyl copy of Tangerine had to be replaced on several occasions thanks to well-worn, dusty phonograph needles and ceaseless 360’s on the turntable. In retrospect it seemed that I had found a new friend!
And now that we’ve determined my sentimental affliction for this release, just listen to Gordon’s broad, ringing tone and succulent Blues/Bop lines caress Johnny Mercer’s classic, “Tangerine” as flugelhornist Thad Jones trades colorful fours atop Clarke and Hayes’ purposeful, yet relaxed sense of swing.
Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and pianist Cedar Walton add refined elegance and sympathetic accompaniment on pieces such as Henry Mancini’s upbeat “Days of Wine and Roses” and the bonus track titled, “The Group”. On these two tracks, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Higgins handle the rhythms while the original yet re-mastered Rudy Van Gelder recording still sounds flawless. Tangerine represents one of many recordings, Dexter Gordon recorded for Prestige and other labels during his visits to the United States as he had, (like so many other musicians seeking artistic-financial rewards and acceptance) adopted Copenhagen as his primary residence many years earlier. – Yet it is quite clear that this Tangerine is now a fine wine........It has aged rather well! Highly recommended!
Track listing: 1) Tangerine 2) August Blues 3) What It Was 4) Days of Wine and Roses 5) *The Group (bonus track)
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