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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

LP Review: Dexter Gordon - Fried Bananas

.Dexter Gordon (tenor); Rein De Graaff (piano); Henk Haverhook (bass); Eric Ineke (drums). Recorded November 3, 1972.
(Review by Lance).
Back in the day, in L.A., when Wardell Gray and Dexter were slugging it out on The Chase in Central Avenue bars and clubs, I'd always, on the recorded evidence, leaned towards Wardell with his lighter, more subtle approach. However, when Dex recorded those classic Blue Note Albums, I had to admit that Wardell, if he'd still been around, may well have lost the re-match!
That was Dexter at his greatest - or so I thought until I heard this album!
Long, Tall, Dexter had been living in Europe since 1962 and, ten years on, he was residing in Copenhagen, started cycling, got married, had a son named after Ben Webster and, eventually, teamed up with the Dutch rhythm section heard here. They toured Europe and recorded this live radio broadcast, for The Netherlands' station VPRO.
The playing is comparable with the Blue Note albums and, indeed, his playing is as good as any of the other tenor-slinging contenders who were around at the time. Were he alive today a lot of saxmen would take to the hills.
The title track is 14:23 mins. of Fried Bananas - I swear I'm going to cook them tomorrow whilst listening to the track! Dexter is the master of the quote. He does it logically, seamlessly incorporating it into the solo. Listen to what he does with On a Slow Boat to China in an exchange of fours on Fried Bananas! This isn't Fried Bananas, it's Chicken à la king!
Flipping the platter, taking care not to disturb the bananas, The Panther is stalking - it senses the aroma of the the Fried Bananas and blows a slow funk as it prowls around.
Dexter announces, "If you play tenor you have to play this tune".
Body and Soul.
Our man does it justice. Of course he does, but he couldn't have done it justice without the three Dutchmen on the case. They soloed, supported and slotted into every direction the great man took. There may be better jazz discs this year but I'm not taking odds on it.
I listened to it on vinyl - Gearbox vinyl which is the business.
Lance
Release date November 4, 2016.

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