Dexter Gordon – One Flight Up

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Five great musicians; underwhelming product that’s suitable for background music, probably because I don’t think anyone could successfully sustain interest over 18 minutes of hard bop (Donald Byrd’s “Tanya”), which is half the album. But the musicians are great: Dexter Gordon’s saxophone playing is clear, and his influence on other, arguably more famous saxophonists has been covered by others; pianist Kenny Drew successfully channels Herbie Hancock (especially during the second half of “Coppin’ the Haven”); drummer Art Taylor’s patterns on the first two songs are simultaneously muscular and mutating to keep things fresh; bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson a.k.a. NHOP, has the alacrity that you’d expect a youthful 16 year old making it in the big leagues to have; Donald Byrd does some really marvellous things on “Tanya.” I really didn’t mind hearing it all the way through, but I’d definitely mind having to hear it again anytime soon.

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3 responses to “Dexter Gordon – One Flight Up

  1. I have this one… I like to put it on late at night when I’m working away in the Man Cave with my record collection. 🙂 I don’t play it all the time either, but whenever I do, I always really enjoy it!

      • Dammit, now you’re spending my money again! haha I’m always up for some more Dexter Gordon.

        The Man Cave is a wonderful thing. We have an extra bedroom downstairs and over time I just sort of took it over. My lovely wife is happy, though, because now all my music is stacked in one room instead of all over the house! It’s a work in constant progress, but yeah I’ve gotta tell you… having a dedicated room for music listening (and music making, as my guitars are in there too) is the absolute best. I can never go back to not having one. If you ever have the space, don’t hesitate!

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