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Album Review

Although Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster both spent long period living in Europe, one does not usually associate the two classic tenor saxophonists with each other, since Webster was a swing stylist while Gordon emerged during the bop era. However, there was a lot of common ground between the two, and their careers overlapped on a few occasions. This 1997 CD has a couple of previously unreleased meetings between the two. Separately, Gordon is featured on his own basic tune "Sticky Wicket" with a quartet, and with an orchestra on "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me." Webster takes "Our Love Is Here to Stay" from the same 1972 concert. But their collaborations actually are all from a 1969 set. They share a ballad medley and then jam on extended versions of "Perdido," "In a Mellotone" and "C Jam Blues." Although Gordon was meeting Webster on his own turf, Dexter has no difficulty and actually takes the longest solos. It is a rare joy hearing the two distinctive tenors playing together, making this an easily recommended disc.


Born: February 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Dexter Gordon had such a colorful and eventful life (with three separate comebacks) that his story would make a great Hollywood movie. The top tenor saxophonist to emerge during the bop era and possessor of his own distinctive sound, Gordon sometimes was long-winded and quoted excessively from other songs, but he created a large body of superior work and could battle nearly anyone successfully at a jam session. His first important gig was with Lionel Hampton (1940-1943) although, due to Illinois...
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