A tremendous European meeting of tenorist Dexter Gordon
and trombonist Slide Hampton – brought together in this impeccable sextet session for MPS – a real standout in the label's straight jazz catalog over the years! By the time of the set, Gordon
had been working heavily in Europe, especially Copenhagen – a locale where he was given ample freedom to stretch out and really explore his tone and phrasing. Hampton had also kicked around the continent a fair bit too, but in a tighter format, doing arrangements for others and working in bigger groups – and it's actually his careful touch that really helps shape the sound of the set – by bringing Gordon
's groove into a focus more strongly than before, and reminding us that Dex was a great group player when he wanted to be! The frontline features Gordon
's tenor, Hampton's trombone, and the trumpet of Dizzy Reece – often stating the heads in a fluidly soulful way, then breaking out nicely with individual voices – very much in the best Blue Note mode. Rhythm is by the trio of Kenny Drew on piano, Art Taylor on drums, and Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass – and titles include 3 excellent originals by Hampton – "A New Thing", "My Blues", and "A Day In Vienna" – plus a wicked almost-Lee Morgan-esque take on "What's New", and versions of "Shadow Of Your Smile" and "You Don't Know What Love Is". US pressing of the MPS album.
(Blue label pressing. Cover has edge wear and a promo ink stamp.)