DEXTER GORDON — A Swingin' Affair (review)

DEXTER GORDON — A Swingin' Affair album cover Album · 1962 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Two days after Dexter Gordon recorded "Go" he was back with the same band to record " A Swingin' Affair" The date is August 29, 1962 and although not as popular as "Go" it is just as good. These albums were recorded before Dexter Gordon departed for Europe where he would stay until 1976. Dexter Gordon is one of the greats on Tenor Saxophone and played with the cream, Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Parker, Harry Edison and Nat King Cole to name just a few. Sonny Clarke whom you could almost describe as the Blue Note house pianist at this time contributed to so many of their albums in the companys history as leader and sideman from this period. Butch Warren is on Bass and he also could be described the same as Sonny as an in house muscian for Blue Note and played with so many jazz artists signed to the label.He first recorded with Kenny Dorham and played with with so many of the greats as well, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk just to mention two. On Drums we have Billy Higgins and he played with them all as well and went on to particapate in over 300 recordings before he left us in 2001. This band had chops.

''Soy Califa" penned by Dexter has a Latin feel with Billy commencing on drums with the band and Dexter coming in to establish the theme by inserting pieces from two tunes and then Dexter is off with a stunning solo, Sonny on piano with that fabulous technique is next Billy Higgins has a quick one on drums and with the rythmn section keeping things moving we have some great jazz. Next one along is Dexter and the band doing " Don't Explain" the Billy Holiday song and Dexter puts his stamp on this beautifully played ballad. He sure knew how to play ballads and will always be the best saxophone for my ears in this format. "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and we are back to the Latin vibe with Dexter giving us another of those solos and Sonny Clarke gives us one little pearler as well. With the next composition " The Backbone" we have quite a catchy theme. Written by Butch Warren who is on bass and quite a brisk number with some great play within. Track five "(It Will Have to Do) Until the Real thing Comes Along" is another gorgeous ballad form Dexter.Last up we get another Dexter Gordon composition "McSplivens" which moves along quite nicely as the band with Dexter seem to be having a real good time with some fine blowing from Dexter's tenor.

Another classic Jazz album from Dexter Gordon as they all were at Blue note but this one followed "Go" which many consider the best but really they are just as good as each other.Personally I think a 'Swingin' Affair" is a little better as I play this more. It must be good if my dog runs in and sits with ears pricked as I finish off. Masterpiece in Jazz with two votes from down here as the album finishes.
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