Five classic Blue Note albums from tenor giant
Dexter Gordon – all packaged together in a single set, with very cool LP-styled sleeves! Doin Allright has Dexter Gordon working with that fully mature Blue Note sound of his – a rich approach to soloing that keeps the tracks cooking with excitement! The group on the set's an all-star lineup that includes Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Horace Parlan on piano, George Tucker on bass, and Al Harewood on drums – and the tunes are a great blend of soulful rhythms and bop improvisation – heard especially well on the album's landmark tune "Society Red"! All tracks are great, though – and other titles include "You've Changed", "For Regulars Only", and "I Was Doing All Right". Dexter Calling is a real classic from Dexter's first big "comeback" period – and represents the strength of his Blue Note years at their best! Gordon's rich, full tone isn't diminished a bit here – and his inventive blowing is given free reign on a set of quartet numbers recorded with Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. The album's got a few strong originals from Gordon – "Soul Sister", "Ernie's Tune", and "I Want More – plus the very sweet Kenny Drew tracks "Modal Mood" and "Clear The Dex"! Swingin Affair is an amazingly simple – but amazingly satisfying session from Dexter Gordon! The group's a totally solid quartet with Sonny Clark on piano, Butch Warren on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – and the groove is right in the pocket with a solid solid soulful feel that you don't always get on Gordon's other Blue Note albums! There's a simple elegance here that's really beautiful – Gordon at his post-bop best, but without any of the over-extended modes of his too-long solo years – a mix that's really rare, and carried off impeccably for this set. The record starts with the amazing "Soy Califa", a nice hardbop number with a good Latiny feel, then slides into lots of other nice ones like "McSplivens", "The Backbone", and "Don't Explain". One Flight Up is an unusual set for both Dexter and Blue Note – first, because the set was recorded in Europe (not at Rudy Van Gelder's), and second because the tracks are all quite long! The album was recorded in Paris – and is cut in an open-ended format that's very much in the mode that Gordon would later use on late 60s and early 70s sessions for European labels. The group features (then) local contemporaries Kenny Drew on piano, and Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass – and is rounded out by Donald Byrd on trumpet and Art Taylor on drums. Tracks are long, but not meanderingly so – and feature a great mix of Blue Note hardbop, with some of the "roomier" recordings that were given to American players in Europe. Side one features an extended reading of Donald Byrd's "Tanya", and other tracks include Kenny Drew's "Coppin' The Haven", and a version of "Darn That Dream". Gettin Around is a really unusual album for Dexter Gordon – one that has him working in a quintet with vibes by Bobby Hutcherson! Hutcherson's sound really transforms the session, giving it a shimmering middleground that disperses the dominance that Gordon's tenor usually has – and creating a warm, fluid feel that's really great. Barry Harris is in the group on piano – providing some wonderful accompaniment that's a great fit for Hutcherson's vibes – and the rest of the group is completed by the excellent rhythm section of Bob Cranshaw on bass and Billy Higgins on drums! The album includes a great version of "Manha de Carnaval", plus a Dex original, "Le Coiffeur" – and the tracks "Heartaches", "Who Can I Turn To", and "Everybody's Somebody's Fool".