Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Dexter Gordon's Love For Sale in Copenhagen

Love For Sale (Steeplechase) is a newly issued live recording of Dexter Gordon during the period of his lengthy stay in Europe in the sixties and seventies which has been extensively documented primarily by Steeplechase. This is the fifth of a series Dexter in Radioland which makes available radio broadcasts from Montmartre Jazzhus. This series has extended at least to a fourteenth volume with a recent release Satin Doll. Long Tall Dexter on tenor sax was accompanied by an excellent band of Tete Montoliu on piano, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson on bass and Alex Riel on drums.

Besides the title track, Dexter and his combo also performs "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears To Dry," both numbers he first recorded on the classic Blue Note album, Go. The other performances include Big Bad Butterfly, with a vocal; an original Soul Sister, and a fast rendition of Cherokee

After his introduction of the band and then his introduction to the Cole Porter penned classic that gives this release its title ("Old love, new love... love for sale"), is is quickly evident that he was in excellent form and the remainder of his band is top notch. The arrangement and tempo is from the Blue Note studio date. In his own manner he introduces the next number (a stunning ballad performance) to those in radio-land, "When I want rain, I get sunny weather, guess I'll hang my tears out to dry, out to dry. Arpeggio, s'il vous plait." "Big Bad Butterfly" provides a vehicle for swinging, amusing vocal jive followed by some hot tenor, sensational piano from Montoliu, and strong bass by Ørsted Pederson. 

Cherokee opens with some swing trappings before Dexter launches in a straight bop rendition with echoes of Charlie Parker's Koko in the hot solo. Its a really nice performance which solos by everyone, but alas is an incomplete performance as the broadcast must have cut off in the middle of Riel's drum solo. This cutoff might be the only complaint about this first-rate recording as it caught Dexter in his prime, playing with great authority and panache. 

I purchased this recording. And here is a taste of Dexter performing live.

No comments: