This is one of the most famous photos in the history of jazz.
Every time I listen to a “new” jazz artist, i feel like…ohhh, this man wrote his music more than 50 years ago and I’m finding it just now?!
That’s the same sensation i felt this time.
Originally recorded in Paris, Dex’s June 2, 1964 effort was made, not under the watchful eye of Alfred Lion and Rudy Van Gelder, but instead by business partner Francis Wolff. It features the great tenor saxophonist in a quintet setting with trumpeter Donald Byrd, pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, and drummer Art Taylor. The album’s centerpieces are two extended compositions, Donald Byrd’s “Tanya” and Kenny Drew’s “Coppin’ The Haven.
Tanya was written by hard bop trumpeter Donald Byrd, who accompanies Dexter in this performance. They play together to begin with and then each solos through this mesmerizing and hypnotic tune. The splendour of the trumpet and tenor saxophone as instruments is on full display here.
Although this album has acquired a semi-cult following because of Dexter’s marathon solo on “Tanya” (it runs for 18 minutes!!), his contructions on the alternate harmonies of “Darn That Dream” are no less impressive. And if you need further evidence of Dexter’s command, “King Neptune” provides that and more.
Mr Gordon was not just a music artist, he’s been also the only musician ever nominated for an Oscar, for his role in the most praised jazz film of all time, Bertrand Tavernier’s, “Round Midnight”.
If you’d like to have some technique notes…I’m not your man, consult your own jazz master.
Got nothing to do but takin’ some spare time and just chill…