At one time Dexter Gordon was THE bebopping tenor until “personal” problems sidetracked him. This 1972 disc on Prestige finds him during the slow ascent of his last comeback, with the advanced harmonies of Thad Jones/tp, Louis Hayes/dr, Hank Jones/p and Stanley Clarke/b (!). Gordon is in great form, as he stretches out like Lee Marvin in a gunslinging western on the heavy hitting “Airegin,” and even gives a great reading of the contemporary pop hit “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” High cholesterol tenor here for meat eaters.
Ca’Purange came toward the end of Dexter Gordon's four-year association with Prestige and put him in the distinguished company of Louis Hayes, Stanley Clarke, and two members of the Jones family of Pontiac, Michigan, Hank and Thad. At a peak of his expressiveness and power, the titan of the tenor saxophone recorded more music than a 12-inch LP could accommodate, and this CD reissue gives us an alternate take of the Sonny Rollins classic "Airegin." Hank Jones provides subtlety in harmony and, as always, taste and touch that are the envy of pianists the world over. Thad was in the midst of a period of concentration on composing, arranging, and bandleading, but when he was persuaded to pick up his horn, he could be astonishing. His solo on the blues "Oh! Karen O" is one of his most adventurous on record. Gordon's ballad mastery elevates the pop song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." with Thad Jones, Hank Jones, Stanley Clarke, Louis Hayes