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Bebop Spoken There

Camila Meza: "Some tonalities or chords are colors to me: G major is blue, D major is orange and B minor is totally yellow." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

CD Review: Jordon Dixon - On!

Jordon Dixon (tenor sax); Allyn Johnson (piano); Herman Burney (bass); Carroll V. Dashiell III (drums) + J.S. Williams (trumpet on 2 tracks)
(Review by Lance).

The CDs arrive daily via the mailman. They turn up in such abundance that I feel sorry for the postie whose back must surely be near breaking point. The sad thing is that such is the volume that, even after farming out a large percentage, so many of them don't get heard so - maybe I'm missing the next Kind of Blue - maybe not.

The moment that makes it all worthwhile is when you play a CD and, from the first note of the first bar you say, "This is for me!" Which is what happened here.
All the great, big sound, soulful tenor players have settled in Dixon's jeans - sorry genes! - and, whilst the presence of Grover, Dexter, Curtis Amy, Turrentine, and others may be part of his DNA, had time been reversed, Dixon would certainly have been a part of theirs.

This is the tenor playing I want to hear when I go into a jazz club. Keep your impressionistic explorations and all that non-jazz for the concert halls and the cultural, arts-granted salons - I'll stick with the saloons.

Straight down the middle blowing - it could be 1950 or (hopefully) 2050. Dixon composed all of the numbers and he takes them to a cut-price laundrette. Goes for the cheapest, quickest option - maybe a 30-minute wash and a spin dry. Anything more would lose the soul of the material and come out like an emasculated Kenny G.

Yes, this is gutsy playing but not without subtlety. Blues-drenched phrases a-plenty, I agree, but he also reaches the parts similar players often miss out on like the unexpectant nuance that turns a routine phrase into something totally his own!

A rhythm section to die for. Dixon met Johnson when both were studying at the University of the District of Columbia prior to which Dixon had spent 11 years in the Marines - a 'Tough Tenor' as the late Chris Yates may have described him!

Bass and drums are never less than superb and, as a bonus, we have J.S. Williams blowing trumpet on a couple of tracks - more wouldn't have been less!

Bring on the next DownBeat Poll!
Lance
Release date June 7, 2019.

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