Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 04/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Body and Soul" is currently the most recorded American song of all time (over 1600 versions in print). Never the first choice of vocalists (though Frank, Billie, Ella, Sarah, Carmen, Diana Krall and Mr. B all left their marks on the tune), its longevity probably owes more to Coleman Hawkins' classic recording than to any other single factor. Although Tatum, Oscar, and Nat have recorded distinctive, personal interpretations, B&S is above all "the" anthem for the tenor saxophone. And of all the available tenor sax versions, it's hard to think of any that matches this particular performance by Dexter, with the possible exception of Hawk's own.Mr. Long and Tall "sculpts" each note into a dagger, then aims it right at your heart, that trademark sweet-sour sound leaving the most agreeable, lingering aftertaste. Juxtaposing Dexter's deliberate and definitive pronouncements with the knowledge that this is, after all, music being created "in the moment" is evidence enough to convince me that between Trane's death in 1967 and the waning of Dexter's powers in the mid-80s, there simply was no better improvisor, regardless of instrument, on the planet.Flanagan's piano is both reponsive to the moment and responsible for its creation. With utter simplicity and directness, drawing on an inspired impressionism that complements Dexter's rich classicism, Flanagan spins an accompaniment that suspends harmony, time, and movement. Despite the piece's strong harmonic progressions, the listener experiences less a chronology than a circular dyanamism. Dawson quickly catches on, moving away from time-keeping in favor of maintaining the radiant glow. If there's a more inexhaustible performance on record, I haven't found it."
As good as any Dexter! PLUS Jaki Byard and Alan Dawson!!
email@example.com | 12/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Panther ranks right up there with the best Gordon recordings, not only because it exemplifies the relaxed yet deliberate style Dexter brought to improvisation, but because of the great trio behind him. Jaki Byard (p) and Alan Dawson (d) play extremely well with Gordon, and the set is a deeply swinging and creative example of the depth of feeling and Pres-like hot/cool saunter we find in the best Gordon playing. While he has recorded "Body and Soul" elsewhere, this stands as my favorite recorded version. The other tracks illustrate Dexter's keen intelligence, sense of humor, wit, bluesiness, pure, warm tone, and swing, swing, swing! Buy it if you loved the Blue Note stuff; it is as good, and much better than the late material that made him famous to the wider public. Reminds me of a cold night at Sandy's . . ."
This panther swings as well as stalks
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 07/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of Dexter Gordon's best late-period Prestige albums, recorded in July 1970. Dex is joined by the great Tommy Flanagan on piano, whose delicate melodic lines are a perfect foil for Gordon's forcefulness. The major highlight of the CD is perhaps the best instrumental recording of Mel Torme's THE CHRISTMAS SONG ever made; what inspired them to record this tune in July I don't know, but thank goodness they did. It's almost all Dexter and he's warm and reflective, but never mushy or sentimental; it's a classic performance. The title track is a funky medium blues, while Clifford Brown's THE BLUES WALK is a punchy up-tempo blues with everyone getting in on the action. MRS. MINIVER, a Gordon original, is a most attractive tune, the kind of song you end up whistling long after hearing it. BODY AND SOUL is the longest track, taken just a bit too slowly with Alan Dawson's drumming intruding on the front line over much, but Dex plays a long unaccompanied coda that's a gas. The CD is a beauty, worth getting for THE CHRISTMAS SONG alone, but with lots of other treats thrown in as well."