Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

16

Dexter Gordon: Soy Califa: Live From Magleaas Højskole 1967

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Tenor saxophone legend Dexter Gordon lived for much of the '60s and '70s in Copenhagen. Popular with the media as well as with the fans, Gordon was a regular on radio and TV. On the afternoon of August 5, 1967, he played a special concert at the Magleaas Højskole, a college for aspiring musicians. Danish TV recorded the event and a mere 47 years later three of the tunes are available on high-quality vinyl (plus a download code), courtesy of London's Gearbox Records, as Soy Califa: Live From Magleaas Højskole 1967.

Far better late than never. The tunes—a fiery, fast take on Gordon's "Soy Califa"; the slow burn of Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow Of Your Smile" and a stomping, energetic version of Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons' "The Blues Up And Down"—all show Gordon and his compatriots in excellent form.

It might not have been too surprising if a local rhythm section had been employed for the date. Denmark was a popular destination for American jazzers at the time and the Danish TV budget was obviously pretty good, so the locals weren't required. Gordon's quartet was completed by Kenny Drew, 21-year-old Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Albert "Tootie" Heath—a lineup fit for New York or London's finest jazz establishments, never mind an afternoon college gig.

After Gordon wails out the title of "Soy Califa" Heath is the first man to make his mark: right at the front of the mix, his cymbals driving the tune's insistent rhythm. Drew's percussive chords punctuate the rhythm while Gordon lets fly with a solo that moves from hard blowing beats to up-tempo swing. "The Shadow Of Your Smile" is cool and graceful, Gordon's tenor sound is at its smokiest and Drew's piano accompaniment perfectly complements the melody while his solo delicately captures the melancholy of the lyric.

"The Blues Up And Down"—or, as Gordon introduces it, "The Blues, Up And Down, Down And Up, East Side, West Side, All Around The Town, The Blues"—just flies. Quick, slick and hugely entertaining, this is an object lesson in the blues as positive, life-affirming, music. It's also the tune that gives Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen the spotlight, with a fat-toned and fluid solo that uses the full range of his bass.

Soy Califa: Live From Magleaas Højskole 1967 closes with the sound of the audience enthusiastically and deservedly applauding the quartet's performance. The lucky few in the room that afternoon no doubt heard far more than is presented here, but Gearbox has once again done a sterling job in bringing a forgotten gem to the fore.

Track Listing: Soy Califa; The Shadow Of Your Smile; The Blues Up And Down.

Personnel: Dexter Gordon: tenor saxophone; Kenny Drew: piano; Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: double bass; Albert "Tootie" Heath: drums.

Title: Soy Califa: Live From Magleaas Højskole 1967 | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Gearbox Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Quiet Life" CD/LP/Track Review Quiet Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "The Apple Of No" CD/LP/Track Review The Apple Of No
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Chant" CD/LP/Track Review Chant
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Live At Jazz Room Cortez" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazz Room Cortez
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 14, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!