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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Capitol Records, LLC

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Jazz - Released August 27, 2013 | Bethlehem Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Blue Note Records

Along with Gene Ammons and Stanley Turrentine, Dexter Gordon was one of the top ballad players of the '60s. Having already made his name in the bebop era and as an expatriate in Europe, Gordon returned to the States to record a series of fine Blue Note discs during the first half of the decade. This edition of the label's Ballads series features Gordon at his peak and in the company of some of hard bop's best players. Whether melding nicely with trumpeter Donald Byrd from a Paris date in 1964 ("Darn That Dream") or locking in with the stellar rhythm section of Sonny Clark, Butch Warren, and Billy Higgins ("Don't Explain"), Gordon delivers his almost sleepy and smoke-filled solos with regal grace. The same can also be said of the rest of this incredible program, including a latter-day live cut from 1978. A perfect set for those in need of a provocative after-hours session in front of the stereo. ~ Stephen Cook
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Go!

Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

From the first moments when Dexter Gordon sails into the opening song full of brightness and confidence, it is obvious that Go is going to be one of those albums where everything just seems to come together magically. A stellar quartet including the stylish pianist Sonny Clark, the agile drummer Billy Higgins, and the solid yet flexible bassist Butch Warren are absolutely crucial in making this album work, but it is still Gordon who shines. Whether he is dropping quotes into "Three O'Clock in the Morning" or running around with spritely bop phrases in "Cheese Cake," the album pops and crackles with energy and exuberance. Beautiful ballads like "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" metamorphosize that energy into emotion and passion, but you can still see it there nonetheless. Gordon had many high points in his five decade-long career, but this is certainly the peak of it all. ~ Stacia Proefrock
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Blue Note Records

Most of these nine tunes were recorded between 1962 and 1965, with one cut, the final one, taken from a very late date in 1985 with John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Billy Higgins, and Pierre Michelot. Over the course of his career in jazz, Dexter Gordon became one of its greatest balladeers. These tunes, all standards save one original, showcase him in wonderfully intimate settings, allowing his true singing voice on the horn to shine through and express complex emotions through fairly simple arrangements. "Serenade in Blue" opens the set, and Gordon croons to Sir Charles Thompson's light-fingered chords and ostinati. On "Stairway to the Stars," with Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, and Michelot, Gordon digs into the melody and paints it with deep, resonant colors. The lone Gordon composition, "Jodi," with Freddie Hubbard, Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins, is full of Dex's trademark tenderness and gentleness. This is a beautifully sequenced selection, one that plays to the saxophonist's greatest strength. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released April 21, 2017 | MPS

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Blue Note Records

This 1963 date is titled for Dexter Gordon's living in self-imposed Parisian exile and recording there with two other exptriates and a French native. Along with Gordon, pianist Bud Powell and Kenny "Klook" Clarke were living in the City of Lights and were joined by the brilliant French bassman Pierre Michelot. This is a freewheeling bop date with the band working out on such categoric standards as "Scrapple from the Apple," and "A Night in Tunisia." In addition, American vernacular tunes such as "Willow Weep for Me" and "Stairway to the Stars" are included. Gordon is at the very top of his game here. His playing is crisp, tight, and full of playful fury. Powell, who at this stage of his life was almost continually plagued by personal problems, never sounded better than he does in this session. His playing is a tad more laid-back here, but is nonetheless full of the brilliant harmonic asides and incendiary single-note runs he is legendary for. The rhythm section is close-knit and stop-on-a-dime accurate. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Dexter Gordon was on a roll in 1962 when he recorded A Swingin' Affair. Two days earlier he and this same quartet recorded his classic album Go!; the band included pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Billy Higgins. Gordon wrote two of the set's six tunes, the first of which, the Afro-Cuban-flavored "Soy Califa," is a burner. Higgins' drumming double-times the band as Gordon lays out the melody -- even his solo doesn't stray far from it and he returns to it repetitively. Clark vamps with beautiful minor-key chords that he then adds to his own solo, moving all around the lyric with his right hand. And Higgins and Warren are truly wonderful on this one. There are also three standards here. Gordon was always a master of them because his own approach to improvisation was essentially one of melodic invention. "Don't Explain" is ushered in by Clark stating the changes; Gordon's low and slow playing is romantic and sensual. On "You Stepped Out of a Dream," Gordon and Clark take the melody and invert it in the bridge; they turn it into a kind of groove as Higgins plays Latin-tinged rhythms throughout. Warren's "The Backbone" is a hard bop groover with a bossa nova flavor, as he and Gordon twin on the tune's head before Dex moves off into his solo. It's easily the best thing here. This is a hot hard bop band, playing a program that's relaxed and mostly upbeat; they even manage to stretch a bit. The Rudy Van Gelder Edition features fine sound but no bonus material. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Blue Note Records

A master of the tenor sax in the small-group bop setting, Dexter Gordon's marvelous tone, elegant lead lines, and deliberate behind-the-beat phrasing made him an obvious influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, among others, and although his body of work is much lauded, he still manages to be somehow underappreciated in the pantheon of great tenor sax players. Beset with drug and other personal problems throughout his career, Gordon had several "comebacks," but none more striking than his 1961 to 1965 sojourn with Blue Note Records, a period that produced Gordon's best work. Gordon released nine albums for the label in the early '60s, and this two-disc, 18-track compilation takes cuts from such stellar LPs as Clubhouse, Our Man in Paris, One Flight Up, and Go! to make a nice overview of the Blue Note years. The consistency on display here is startling, and if Gordon wasn't as openly exploratory as Coltrane or Rollins, he didn't really need to be. He knew the pocket and he knew when to move it. Barring purchasing all of Gordon's Blue Note albums individually (which isn't currently possible -- Blue Note really should reissue all of them), picking up this set is probably the next best thing. ~ Steve Leggett

Jazz - Released July 13, 2018 | Elemental Music Records SL

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Hi-Res Booklet
From the first moments when Dexter Gordon sails into the opening song full of brightness and confidence, it is obvious that Go is going to be one of those albums where everything just seems to come together magically. A stellar quartet including the stylish pianist Sonny Clark, the agile drummer Billy Higgins, and the solid yet flexible bassist Butch Warren are absolutely crucial in making this album work, but it is still Gordon who shines. Whether he is dropping quotes into "Three O'Clock in the Morning" or running around with spritely bop phrases in "Cheese Cake," the album pops and crackles with energy and exuberance. Beautiful ballads like "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" metamorphosize that energy into emotion and passion, but you can still see it there nonetheless. Gordon had many high points in his five decade-long career, but this is certainly the peak of it all. ~ Stacia Proefrock
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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