After two Blue Note LPs recorded in Europe (his adopted home since 1962), Gordon finally made it back to the States to record this mid-Sixties release. Curiously, the two previously unreleased tunes seem slightly out of place with the rest of the record, and feel more akin to the kind of work Gordon’s labelmates were releasing at the time. “Flick of a Trick” is a sultry, walking eight-bar blues, while “Very Saxily Yours,” distinguishes itself from the standards here by virtue of its riffing melody and use of hits during the head.
Having said that, part of the appeal of Gordon’s approach is the way this album is built from standards. There’s a sense of getting down to basics, from the passion and depths that can come out in a ballad to the sheer joy of swinging hard on the uptempo tunes. “Le Coiffeur” now sounds a little dated (like the theme from a lost Sixties sitcom), but there’s something charming about that, as there is about the loping exuberance of “Shiny Stockings” and the presence of “Manha de Carnaval,” a recent movie theme at the time.
Personnel: Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Dexter Gordon; Bob Cranshaw (upright bass); Barry Harris (piano); Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone); Billy Higgins (drums).
01. Manha De Carnaval
02. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
04. Shiny Stockings
05. Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool
06. Le Coiffeur
07. Very Saxily Yours
08. Flick Of A Trick