Thursday, 6 October 2011


I’ve lost my “bounce” – literal and metaphorical.
Literal? Still suffering the effects of Sunday’s efforts. Been a few runs since then but the legs are still a bit on the heavy and “dead” side yet.
Metaphorical? I’m not sure. Just don’t seem to have any “joie de vivre” right now (maybe it’s lurking down the back of the sofa beside my “raison d'être”). I don’t think it’s entirely uncommon for some runners, after a big race, to go through a wee bit of a downer. But this one just seems to be feeding my old companion the black dog…L
Found one thing that helps (a little).. Dexter Gordon “Daddy Plays The Horn”. Jeeze, I’ve been after this album for ages. Honestly. At one point I even considered buying an 8 CD box set, most of which I already have, just to get these six songs that weigh in at a mere 40 minutes.
This was recorded in 1955 and is a nice “bridge” between Dexter’s earlier pure bebop style and his much more popular hardbop phase associated with his recordings for Blue Note. This doesn’t have the fuller tone of the Blue Note records, but you can tell he’s getting there. More so with the title track which has a sort of bluesy soulful quality to it.
Pianist Kenny Drew gives a really beautiful rendition of  “Autumn In New York” while Dexter swings alongside and Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Lawrence Marable on drums keep the pace. But Dexter steals the show on the Parker song “Confirmation” proving that he was a contemporary of Bird rather than a mere follower or imitator.
The version of Darn That Dream, that was to become a favourite song of Dexter’s, could be used as an example of what late night jazz ballads should sound like. It’s as close to perfect as you could get.
Too often I’ve been hunting for particular records and when I finally do get hold of them (or at least get to hear them) I’m disappointed. Not this time (I even love the sleeve).
If you don’t like Dexter Gordon then listen to this…if you still don’t like him after….well go find yourself a cliff and jump off it.

And here for Ray, and anyone else who may care to listen, is a slightly latter version of "Darn That Dream" from Dexters album "One Flight Up" from 1964....


Ray said...

Hi Stuart

Ever thought of putting a wee audio sample file on with your write up? I imagine it's legal and then we could have a listen to what you describe (very well, might I add.)


Ray said...

This is mellow, smooth and just how I like some jazz on a Saturday afternoon... many thanks