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.


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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Disappeared Behind the Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Mask Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Mask Dance
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "The Catfish" CD/LP/Track Review The Catfish
by Chris Mosey
Published: February 15, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.