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December 1998

Dexter Gordon
The Art of the Ballad
Prestige

The Dexter Gordon entry is equally outstanding. The opener, "Sentimental Reasons" is downright thrilling; Gordon's tone is on the mark and his interaction with mates Wynton Kelly, Sam Jones, and Ray Brooks is classic, as is his infectious "Star Eyes." Gordon the balladeer was often overshadowed by Gordon the blower, but listening to him here brings his force and passion to the front, whether on a somewhat humorous "Those Were the Days" to a delicious "Body and Soul," with Tommy Flanagan on piano, Larry Ridley on bass, and Alan Dawson on drums.

Originally published in December 1998
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