150

Sax Gordon: You Knock Me Out

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
In post-World War II America, two new strains of jazz competed for the public's attention: the bop of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and the honking jump-blues made famous by saxophonists Red Prysock and Big Jay McNeely, among others. The latter style nearly died out with the advent of rock 'n roll, but a succession of maverick saxmen and a few avid record collectors kept the flame burning. Sax Gordon is one of the best saxophone wailers to come along in years.

Gordon's breed has often been dissed by the jazz intelligentsia. Though their music is largely improvised, new honkers and screamers are today labeled "blues artists," and we blues aficionados welcome them to the fold with open arms.

Sax Gordon (real name Gordon Beadle) is a hard-blowing tenor man whose original tunes and covers ignore the line between blues, jazz and R&B. A former member of Roomful of Blues and the Duke Robillard Band, Gordon is one of the most in-demand sax players in the blues biz. His second solo release is every bit the equal of his widely praised debut Have Horn Will Travel.

>From King Curtis-style R&B ("BY-YA") to swingin' jump (the title track) to rocket-fast blues ("Speed Rack"), Gordon makes sensational party music, much of it original. For instance, Beadle and baritone player Doug James combine jump blues with bop on the delightfully eccentric "Lorenzo Leaps In," a cut that gets very intense. Even Beadle's slow numbers ("Crawling Home") are hot and sweaty.

"Lonely for You" (by Alvin "Red" Tyler) and "Big Mouth" sound like stripper tunes from '50s. In fact, Beadle is quoted thusly in Billy Vera's excellent booklet notes: "I was born in the wrong time. I should have played sax in streaptease bars. I know I could'a inspired those girls to their best."

If there's anything to complain about, it's Beadle's occasional spoken vocals, which grow tedious on some cuts. But as an instrumentalist, Beadle's the closest cat to Red Prysock currently wailing on saxophone, and that's saying something.

Additional accolades to Duke Robillard for his guitar playing and production, and to his band for the spirited backup.

| Record Label: Bullseye Records | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Goodbye to Language" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye to Language
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Sunshine Seas" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine Seas
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "Whirlwind" CD/LP/Track Review Whirlwind
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Chamber Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Chamber Jazz
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!