Dexter Gordon had such a colorful and eventful life (with three separate comebacks) that his story would make a great Hollywood movie. The top tenor saxophonist to emerge during the bop era and possessor of his own distinctive sound, Gordon sometimes was long-winded and quoted excessively from other songs, but he created a large body of superior work and could battle nearly anyone successfully at a jam session. His first important gig was with Lionel Hampton (1940-1943) although, due to Illinois Jacquet also being in the sax section, Gordon did not get any solos.
Although tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon seemed to have been largely forgotten in the U.S. during his long residence in Europe, he was playing in prime form during the period and made occasional trips back to America. On this CD reissue, Gordon teams up with pianist Wynton Kelly (one of his last recordings), bassist Sam Jones and drummer Roy Brooks for an obscure original ("Evergreenish"), "The Jumpin' Blues," the veteran ballad "For Sentimental Reasons" and three songs that were long a part of Gordon's repertoire: "Star Eyes," "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "If You Could See Me Now." Dexter Gordon is in fine form on the excellent straightahead bop set.
Two exceptional live concerts from the 1960’s : Dexter Gordon in Copenhagen 1969 and Ben Webster in London 1964. Dexter is featured in a quartet format backed by the great Kenny Drew on piano, the late Danish bassist NHOP and the relatively obscure South African drummer Makaya Ntshoko (Ben Webster is present and can be seen among the audience, in the Cafe Montmatre!). Webster’s performance is also with a quartet - featuring the immaculate Stan Tracey on piano, bassist Rick Laird (who 7 years later was a founder member of The Mahavishnu Orchestra), and Jackie Dougan on drums. On “A Night in Tunisia”, Ronnie Scott joins the group - after all, Tracey, Laird & Dougan were his then current quartet and the house trio at his club, although this date was at The Marquee.
The harmonically advanced trumpeter Thad Jones is a perfect contrast to the tenor of Dexter Gordon on this enjoyable Prestige LP. Gordon was somewhat forgotten in the United States at the time (his "comeback" was still four years away), but is in excellent form on the four numbers, particularly during a passionate version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."