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.
Thom Jurek AMG
• Mastered and produced by Alan Yoshida and Joe Harley from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note 2-Track Analog Tapes!
• Highest Quality Analog-to-Digital transfers from tape to CD
• Deluxe Packaging with Hi-Resolution Black & White Session Photos by Francis Wolff.
• Includes Original Album Liner Notes
• XRCD24 is Compatible with ALL CD PLAYERS!
Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone
Sonny Clark, piano
Butch Warren, bass
Billy Higgins, drums
"I recommend these highly. If you want the best digital versions of these great Blue Note albums, grab these. In my opinion they are the best that have ever been done and probably the best that ever will be. They can't stay in print forever so don't delay!" - Steve Hoffman, Mastering Engineer
"Blue Note has never sounded this good on CD before - these are the first digital Blue Notes that come close to the sound of vinyl. And the packaging is outstanding. I love the high quality glossy covers, and the insert booklets are the first effort I've seen to fit high quality photography into such a small package. Keep up the good work!" - Dennis Davis, Hi-Fi+
"Astute listeners know that the very first Blue Note CD issues are sonically superior to the more recent RVG remasters. Well, these XRCD24s absolutely crush them both, displaying high-frequency air, midrange presence, and bottom-end definition and weight missing on earlier CDs and many LPs as well." - Mark Mickelson, TheAudioBeat.com
|Brand||Blue Note / Audio Wave|
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