338

Dexter Gordon: The Squirrel

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
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 The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Each Edge of the Field" CD/LP/Track Review Each Edge of the Field
by John Eyles
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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