2000 CD reissue.
Still considered an expatriate as he resided in Europe, Dexter Gordon (tenor sax) returned stateside in mid-1972 long enough to lay down two sessions' worth of material that would primarily be split between Tangerine (1972), Generation (1973), and Ca'Purange (1973). The opening update of the Johnny Mercer staple "Tangerine" gets things underway with a mid-tempo treatment allowing Gordon, Thad Jones (trumpet), Hank Jones (piano), and Stanley Clarke (bass) plenty of room to groove on their own as well as in the quintet with Louis Hayes' (drums) rock-solid downbeat. Oddly, the performance is not presented in its entirety, fading out nearly nine minutes in. Hank Jones shines on the easygoing "August Blues" -- the first of three Gordon originals featured on the platter.
Gordon is more methodical as his interesting ideas develop organically and inspire the same from Thad Jones, who kicks things up with his dizzying double-time before handing things back to pianist Hank Jones. Clarke steps up and gives the tune a final shot of soul as the rest of the ensemble join back in. The funky "What It Was" is the most modern-sounding side on the album, with Clarke's undulating and propulsive bass giving the number a contemporary kick. Although pianist Jones decides to class up the joint with refined and bluesy contributions that rhythmically jump and jive all over the beat.
From a slightly earlier date, Gordon is accompanied by Cedar Walton (piano), Buster Williams (bass), and Billy Higgins (drums) on the album's final two entries. The interpretation of the Mancini/Mercer classic "Days of Wine and Roses" is suitably stately with Gordon's rich tone perfectly capturing the tuneful romanticism without seeming maudlin or trite. The same can be said of Walton's warm and inviting runs that glide into a short but sublime bass solo from Williams. It certainly ranks up there as one of Gordon's greats. Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) is on hand for the closer -- Gordon's "The Group" -- as listeners are given a taste of the former's strong melodic sense. His blows are resounding, particularly so when doubling up beside Gordon for maximum impact.
Lindsay Planer ~ AllMusicGuide
|Brand||OJC / Prestige|
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