Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Doin' Allright

Doin' Allright
Blue Note 84077

Recorded 1961

Side One

1. I Was Doing All Right
2. You've Changed
3. For Regulars Only

Side Two

1. Society Red
2. It's You Or No One


DEXTER GORDON; tenor sax

This 1961 LP marks the beginning of the second phase of Gordon's career. Having scored some successes in the 1940s, 'the big man with the big sound' (he was 6'5") spent much of the 50s either under the influence of drugs or in jail, so his LPs for Blue Note in the early 60s represented something of a comeback for the veteran tenorman.

Here he teams up with some young guns; most notably the great Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Horace Parlan on piano. The rhythm section of Tucker and Harewood are good, but firmly second division - solid players, nothing too flashy. The album splits neatly into two - slower tracks on side one and an increase in pace on side two. A relaxed air permeates throughout, though. 'You've Changed' was a future standard, and the flip's 'Society Red' sees Gordon's huge tone being shown off to great effect. That track also features a standout solo from Parlan.

All in all, it's a typical Blue Note release of the period. It doesn't take too many risks, but with music as well played and enjoyable as this is, it doesn't have to. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the discrepancy in catalogue numbers between the text and the sleeve picture above - the picture is actually of the CD issue (courtesy of amazon), while I own the LP. Ahh, catalogue confusion, don't you just hate it?

I can't resist sharing my favourite piece of Dexter trivia, courtesy of wikipedia. Apparently, when Gordon lived in Denmark, he became friends with the family of then-future Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, and subsequently became Lars's godfather! Try playing six degrees of separation with that one!

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