When you get up in the morning, you must have a song - Ray Charles

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dexter Gordon - Blues a' la Suisse

I have a weird relationship with Dexter Gordon's records. Not necessarily a love/hate thing because I don't ever really hate them. His earliest stuff is entertaining but not necessary. A single Bethlehem compilation will suffice. The Blue Note post bop dates are excellent and essential to any decent jazz collection, but more often than not, they are not the records I quickly reach for.
What I have really come to appreciate is his later period stuff where he feels like he has settled into his older, wiser statesman status. He was rarely boring and he played with an ease that seemed to just settle my nerves.
Sure there were a few clunkers that occasionally, on paper should have been better, but I find myself more accepting of even those lately.

This one has always felt like a gem to me, and I don't see it around much, so here it 'tis.

Dexter Gordon
Blues a la Suisse

1. Gingerbread Boy
2. Blues a la Suisse
3. Some other Spring
4. Secret Love

Dexer Gordon - tenor sax
Hampton Hawes - electric and acoustic piano
Bob Cranshaw - electric bass
Kenny Clarke - drums

recorded live @ Montreaux Jass festival, 7/7/73

Prestige P-10079


Jim Benson said...

Thank you so much for posting this out-of-print gem. This album was my intro to real (not fusion) jazz in the late 70s, but I lost it one of my many moves. I since bought a number of Dex's albums, but this live LP captures the essence of his swing. The backup band is top-notch. You made my week!

thoth said...

i think my favorite way to hear gordon is live stuff from the late 60s and through the 70s. he would really stretch out at times. so fiery but relaxed at the same time. on studio record this could sound a bit too clean and relaxed to me but everything seems a bit looser on live dates.

chazz said...

Hook I agree.His stuff with Wardel Grey and all the Savory is much like everybody else (The Dootone LP has a cool cover by Claxton but music so so).I do love his Bethlehem "Daddy Plays The Horn"."Go is overrated (as with other BN good but not killer).Then he hit's his stride in 70's with some fine steplechase and domestic USA LP's and some to "commercial" or "project for legend" type stuff.Mixes bad.Amazing though he had 3 separate comebacks and in terms of tone and how it was like his size HUGE sound.But when he was on he was great.Love watching his Youtube video's.You have some great posts.

hogbody said...

I just picked it up in a used record store. A great find!

A-Pauled-In-Evanston said...

I just listened to this on vinyl. What a treat! I hung out with Bob Cranshaw last year, he just tears up the Fender bass here.