338

Dexter Gordon: The Squirrel

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Dexter Gordon: The Squirrel
This never-before-released live recording, taped by Danish radio during an engagement by Gordon and his quartet at Copenhagen's Jazzhaus Montmartre in the summer of 1967, captures the great tenor saxophonist at his most boisterous mid-60s peak. To hear Dexter Gordon live in this period is to hear one of the most powerful instrumentalists in jazz at the very top of his form.

On four extended numbers, clocking in at between twelve and twenty minutes, Gordon plays fast, furious and remarkably athletic tenor alongside an outstanding rhythm section of pianist Kenny Drew, Danish bassist Bo Stief, and drummer Art Taylor. The selections include three up-tempo bebop workouts - Tadd Dameron's title cut, Gordon's familiar "Cheese Cake," and Gordon disciple Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon for Two" - plus one standard, the ballad "You've Changed." The group's formula here is not complicated: Gordon briefly states each song's theme and then roars off into a six or seven minute solo, before stepping aside for a shorter solo by the always engaging Drew or the incendiary drummer Taylor.

This album is almost as much a showcase for Taylor's powerhouse drumming as it is for Gordon. While Taylor's incredible energy and volume, which recall another great Art of the drums, at times threaten to overwhelm the rest of the rhythm section, Dexter seems enervated by the drummer's aggressiveness and responds with some of his most energetic playing.

An additional highlight of this enormously enjoyable album is the brief spoken introduction Gordon provides for each number. Even speaking just a few words in his resonant baritone, Gordon's musicality and gracefulness shine through.

Personnel

Dexter Gordon: saxophone, tenor.

Album information

Title: The Squirrel | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read When You Find It
When You Find It
Arthur White and Merge
Read Rainbow Baby
Rainbow Baby
Cathlene Pineda
Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane
Read Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah!
The Claire Daly Band
Read Artlessly Falling
Artlessly Falling
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Read Hi-Fly
Hi-Fly
Howard University Jazz Ensemble
Read And Then It Rained
And Then It Rained
The Michael O'Neill Quartet

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.