Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Dexter Gordon: The Complete Prestige Recordings

Like most artists, Dexter Gordon broke out of the gate full of youthful fire, hit full stride in his 30s and 40s, and slowly decelerated thereafter. The accepted wisdom is that his greatest dates were made for Blue Note during the ’60s, and certainly he never sounded better than on Dexter Calling and Doin’ Allright. The first entry in Gordon’s discography is from 1941, when he was 18, and the last is in 1987. In between he was officially recorded more than 160 times, about half of which were made in the ’70s and ’80s-and during the crucial decade of the ’50s he hardly recorded at all. This means that a vast portion of Gordon’s records catch him in cruise control essentially, while relatively few present him at his peak.

This Prestige collection contains a track from 1950, a session recorded in ’60, another from ’65, and 11 made between ’69 and ’73. The music ranges from fantastic to fairly good, and gathering it all together gives us a chance to reevaluate recordings that can get lost in the shuffle when a discography is so large.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published