Dexter Gordon - Dexter Gordon Live in '63 & '64

Jazz Icons

Release date: September 4th, 2007

Recorded in Amersfoort, Holland, July 29th 1964, Lugano, Switzerland, September 20th 1963 and Belgium, January 8th 1964

 Dexter Gordon Live in '63 & '64


Amersfoort, Holland, July 29th 1964

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
George Grunz (piano)
Guy Pedersen (bass)
Daniel Humair (drums)

Lugano, Switzerland, September 20th 1963

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Gilbert Rovere (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

Jazz Prisma, Belgium, January 8th 1964

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
George Grunz (piano)
Guy Pedersen (bass)
Daniel Humair (drums)


Holland 1964: A Night In Tunisia, What's New, Blues Walk,
Lugano 1963: Second Balcony Jump, You've Changed,
Belgium 1964: Lady Bird, Body And Soul.


The place: a somewhat upmarket bar cum jazz venue in Amersfoort in Holland. The date: July 29th 1964. A jazz trio is warming up. A suave guy in a long trench coat walks in from the street outside, says "hello" to the barman, removes his coat, picks up his saxophone from behind the piano and bows to the waiting audience, still smoking his cigarette. The audience applauds and as the camera pans around, we realize that he is the only black man in the room. He carries himself with such assurance, such aplomb, such cool that he has everyone in the room completely captivated.

It's Dexter Gordon of course, in his prime, during his time spent in Europe just a few weeks after the recording of his great album "One Flight Up". It is tremendous to see him in this first half hour slot, backed by a half way decent local band, working his way through "A Night In Tunisia" and delighting in bringing out its exotic overtones, blowing a beautiful version of "What's New" and finishing off with Sonny Stitt's "Blues Walk", which he insists on calling "Loose Walk" in his introduction.

The same band is the backing for the third segment of the DVD, recorded six months earlier at Jazz Prisma in Belgium. Here the takes are Todd Dameron's "Lady Bird" and a beautiful and completely captivating version of "Body And Soul", the standard that Coleman Hawkins had used to all but define modern tenor saxophone playing.

In between there is a two track segment taken from a jazz festival in Lugano, Switzerland where the backing band is of a higher order. Kenny Drew (piano) and Art Taylor (drums), who were both to appear on "One Flight Up", add considerable extra flare on "Second Balcony Jump" and another fine ballad "You've Changed".

It is easy to understand in these performances, especially in the three fine ballads, just how much an influence Dexter Gordon was on John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and, via them and his own influence, on the whole development of tenor saxophone in jazz.

The "Reelin' In The Years" production company, as with all the other titles in the Jazz Icons series, have done a very good job in restoring these made for TV performances. Picture quality, though mono, is very good; sound quality is excellent. So, why put up with low resolution knock offs of this material on YouTube when you can get so much closer to appreciating the power and importance of Dexter Gordon in performance with this fine DVD?

Star Rating *****

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