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Jose Reyes

Dexter Gordon’s album “Dexter Blows Hot and Cool” is featured and the challenge of evaluating Jazz musicians

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Jazz fans like most true music fans, know when someone is exceptional and stand out but they try exploring for others who could be even better. This is a great way to be and only helps them further in learning of other great musicians. In Classic/Traditional Jazz, there are so many great musicians that it becomes a grueling task for these fanatics but then again, they have quite a bit of fun doing so. Also, more importantly, the expansion of their musical range of knowledge only increases. They learn of different techniques and styles of delivering the music, following the unknown direction they are taken until they are exhausted and cannot go any further. They begin to make decisions and fall into the trap of certain musicians, they become their favorites. For a while, that is, as they hear another musician and begin to admire him or her even more. This is a great feeling and can only be categorized as another form of Freedom. Classic/Traditional Jazz sure gives you this opportunity because of its high standards and of course, the improvisational nature of it.

In the process of evaluating these musicians, one creates a virtual list of their favorites. In Jazz, it becomes a real struggle, as only the real interested fans know. Nevertheless, they do produce their own individual list of their favorites, no matter how long it is and how long it takes (can take YEARS!). Eventually, they come to some type of so-called conclusion, well, they think! Then all of a sudden, they hear an artist from the bottom of their list, which they had discarded for a while and pick up something else, oh no, the list changes again, LoL!! Dexter Gordon is the perfect example. You know he’s great but you somehow forget. Classic/Traditional Jazz has an infinite amount of personal satisfaction and nobody will ever get tired of it, it’s impossible!

Here’s a real classic 1955 album of his that features both, sweet ballads and fast paced Jazzy songs. For this reason this album was named “Dexter Blows Hot and Cold” and I will be featuring here for the Jazz Con Class listeners. Check the Schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the Album:

DEXTER BLOWS HOT AND COOL was released at the outset of the saxophonist’s hard-bop period. Often referred to as the horn player who served as the bridge between swing and bop styles, Gordon lives up to the definition with his combination of edgy, harmonic complexity and cool, Lester Young-inspired lyricism. An outstanding example of the latter can be found in the practically flawless version of “Cry Me A River,” in which Gordon’s tenor paints sound pictures of exquisite, aching beauty. The driving, exuberant energy of such tracks as “Rhythm Mad” and “I Hear Music” shows that, while Dexter was influenced heavily by the swing saxophonists, he is still firmly rooted in the bop movement and owes as much to Parker as he does to Hawkins and Young. But Gordon’s style is his own, as evidenced by his bright, earthy tone and unique expressive vocabulary…..Read More

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