The Long Tall Dexter “One Flight Up”

Science dropped by Martini & Jopparelli. Jul-06-2008

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…

“One Flight Up” (Paris, 1964) – Blue Note

7 Responses to “The Long Tall Dexter “One Flight Up””

  1. ajani says:

    beautiful music! THANKSFOR THIS POST

  2. Nes says:

    Nice guys! Keep it Jazzy

  3. Belize says:

    Big up man..Gotta Love Jazz!

    ayo…hit me on the email, Id like to send you some underground music to critique.

  4. Tom Marcello says:

    I’m happy you like my photo of Dexter Gordon and Benny Bailey. That was taken at the Village Vanguard in June of 1977.


    Tom Marcello

  5. Really, is it you that took that one?

    What a lucky coincidence that you found it here. The world is so small sometimes in the internet…

    BTW, great pic!

    If you have others, we could use them in future posts about jazz, and of course we will cite your name, your site or whatever you want to promote your work!


  6. Ozzino says:

    Do I like it? man that pic is terrific!
    You caught such an intense moment, it seems like they’re chilling out and having fun, but you could tell us more about it…

  7. Tom Marcello says:

    I’ve added my flickr website so you can see more:

    That was taken during the same week that Dexter and Benny recorded the Sophisticated Giant record.

    By the way, I’m also vibraphonist Joe Locke’s manager.


    Tom Marcello