While living in Europe, France, and Denmark, to be exact, Dexter Gordon made many recordings for the Steeplechase label, in studios and on trips to Switzerland and Sweden, performing with "local" rhythm sections and some American expatriates like himself. A regular partner for the tenor saxophonist in the early to mid-'70s was the quite able pianist Lars Sjösten, who was able to keep up with Gordon in terms of both musicianship and stamina.
For these dates live in Sweden, Gordon really elongates five standards, two ballads, and two snippets of "The Theme" over a two-hour-plus double-CD set. Sjösten's quartet backs up Gordon, with the fine drummer Per Hulten, and trumpeter Rolf Reicson, who for the most part abdicated his front line position to let Gordon wail away. The bop tunes range from 17-18 minutes for the first set, and 20-26 for the second, with the ballads being a little more concise at around ten minutes.
These extended takes, which are pretty well recorded considering the pre-digital time period, show an inspired Gordon dipping, diving, stretching, and straightening out the angular modern bop licks he helped create. For some this might be a bit much to listen to at home, or even in the club at night, but it gives an indication that Gordon's well was far from dry at the time, as he primed for his historic return back to the U.S. This is a reissue of two previously issued single LPs, now combined in one CD package.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos
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