Great Encounters Indeed!
A. Davis | Greenville, SC | 09/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! I had recently forgotten how great Dexter Gordon was and how he impacted the music that I have come to love and cherish so deeply. "Great Encounters" came out in 1979, a time when my ears were being perked up by a hosts of artists that includied Woody Shaw, Dexter Gordon and Eddie Jefferson. When this record came out, I thought it was brilliant. Hearing it again on CD reinforced that same opinion. Dexter is in excellent form here and he surrounds himself with a tightly knitted rhythm section. But the joy of this music comes from his encounters with Johnny Griffin, a monster tenor saxophonist in his own right, Woody Shaw, a highly under appreciated trumpeter, and Eddie Jefferson, a motivated and swinging vocalist. These encounters provide a bright and shimmering glimpse into why Jazz should be more widely appreciated and loved. The music swings and vibes with the energy of a locomotive. The standout piece for Dexter's Quartet is the beautiful ballad "Ruby, My Dear". This ballad is slow cooked and simmered until you are begging for more. I miss this kind music that leaves me smiling and wanting more. Thankfully, Wounded Bird Records is still digging up these forgotten jewels from my treasured past. If you love great Jazz performed with passion and heat, please check this out immediately. It absolutely cooks!!!!"