Dexter Gordon – Ballads


The reputation of tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was destined to be overshadowed by John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, not to mention the three titans of the previous era–Ben Webster, Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. This wouldn’t matter so much if Gordon wasn’t a musician of the first rank himself. Indeed, Coltrane initially derived much of his hard, piercing sound from the older bop player. Part of the problem is that there isn’t one key Dexter Gordon album that crystalizes his achievement, not like Rollin’s Saxophone Colossus or Coltrane’s Giant Steps or A Love Supreme.

Ballads partially fills this gap and is an excellent introduction to Gordon’s tenor artistry. Compiled from a number of mostly ’60s Blue Note sessions, these familar standards, including Billie’s “Don’t Explain” and Sinatra’s “I’m A Fool To Want You,” are given long and bracing workouts in the modern tenor style. Underrated Gordon might have been, but he was never outdated. The grand finale is an electrifying 16-minute “Body And Soul,” recorded live in 1978, which includes a nearly 4-minute unaccompanied cadenza.


01. Darn That Dream
02. Don’t Explain
03. I’m A Fool To Want You
04. Ernie’s Tune
05. You’ve Changed
06. Willow Weep For Me
07. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
08. Body and Soul

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One Response to “Dexter Gordon – Ballads”

  1. Common follower says:

    Any chance to get this reuploaded in mediafire ?
    Thanks and respect

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