This was the final statement in the tragically brief life of Joe Gordon (1928-1963), the underrated Boston native who ended his career as a first-call sideman in Los Angeles. It captured not just an established trumpeter who had worked and recorded with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Shelly Manne, but also a budding composer whose originals remain melodically compelling while presenting structural challenges. Gordon had clearly reached a new plateau in his music, one in which the bright eloquence of his playing glowed in settings filled with harmonic and rhythmic wrinkles that ensured an avoidance of cliche. He meets each test in this inspired collection of eight originals, as does his quintet. Lookin' Good! also introduced the compelling alto saxophonist Jimmy Woods, who would lead two of his own albums on Contemporary, and pianist Dick Whittington, former proprietor of the famed Maybeck Recital Hall.
with Jimmy Woods, Dick Whittington, Jimmy Bond, Milt Turner