The harmonically advanced trumpeter Thad Jones is a perfect contrast to the tenor of Dexter Gordon on this enjoyable Prestige LP. Gordon was somewhat forgotten in the United States at the time (his "comeback" was still four years away), but is in excellent form on the four numbers, particularly during a passionate version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."
The Complete Blue Note Sixties Sessions is an attractive six-disc box set featuring all of Dexter Gordon's '60s recordings for the label in chronological order. Such classic albums as Dexter Calling and Go! were recorded during these years, and they are presented in their entirety, as are two complete sessions that have been previously unavailable on CD and several unreleased alternate takes. For serious Gordon fans and musicologists, it's an essential collection, but its very thoroughness makes it less appealing to casual fans, who would be better off acquiring the individual albums.
Forget the stylized in-session cover art closeup of the "jazz man at work:" eyes clenched shut, lips pursed around a mouthpiece, dim lighting. On the cover of his Blue Note debut Gordon appears perched in a Central Park carriage in a sharp-looking trench coat, one hand on his horn case, the other waving a cigarette, a big grin on his face. Doin' allright, indeed. And compared to some of his labelmates, Gordon was perhaps something of an already-arrived success, having been on the scene for over twenty years by the time of this 1961 recording.
Go is the tenth studio album by jazz musician Dexter Gordon, recorded on August 27, 1962 and released in the same year on Blue Note. According to the liner notes by Ira Gitler, this session was "not recorded in a nightclub performance but, in its informal symmetry, it matches the relaxed atmosphere that the best of those made in that manner engender. Everyone was really together, in all the most positive meanings of that word." It was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. Since its release, Go has received very positive reviews from critics, with Allmusic giving it a five star rating. The album was re-released in March 1999 as part of Blue Note's RVG Series, produced by Michael Cuscuna.
Jazz Undulation is an exciting live album that captured tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin in an interesting and unusual setting. Bassist Jimmy Woode and drummer Kenny Clarke were frequent collaborators of Griffin's at the time, all three living in Europe and being members of the Clarke-Boland Big Band. Pianist Hampton Hawes was visiting Europe at the time, and probably just happened to meet them in Rome.