Okay, so I’m totally pushing my luck here. While Kelly is neti-potting her headache away (click HERE for my own experience) and HRH gets ready for bed, I’m slipping on one last Jazz Boner selection just to see if anyone is paying attention. This time the ‘Go!‘ album by Dexter Gordon.
From the first moments when Dexter Gordon sails into the opening song full of brightness and confidence, it is obvious that ‘Go!‘ is going to be one of those albums where everything just seems to come together magically.
Or so I’m hoping with the girls tonight anyway…
A stellar quartet including the stylish pianist Sonny Clark, the agile drummer Billy Higgins, and the solid yet flexible bassist Butch Warren are absolutely crucial in making this album work, but it is still Gordon who shines. Whether he is dropping quotes into ‘Three O’Clock in the Morning‘ or running around with spritely bop phrases in ‘Cheese Cake‘, the album pops and crackles with energy and exuberance. Beautiful ballads like ‘I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry‘ metamorphosize that energy into emotion and passion, but you can still see it there nonetheless. Gordon had many high points in his five decade-long career, but this is certainly the peak of it all.
‘Go!‘ was released in 1962 on the legendary jazz label Blue Note. According to the liner notes by Ira Gitler, this session was:
“Not recorded in a nightclub performance but, in its informal symmetry, it matches the relaxed atmosphere that the best of those made in that manner engender. Everyone was really together, in all the most positive meanings of that word.”
Actually, it was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. Since its release, ‘Go!’ has received very positive reviews from critics, with Allmusic giving it a five star rating. The album was re-released in March 1999 as part of Blue Note’s RVG Series, produced by Michael Cuscuna, and this is the version I have in my collection now.
So what did the real critics say?
Well, one closed the door and went to bed. The other, okay, she went to bed too. So while neither of them really paid any attention to my jazz at all, they also didn’t complain, roll their eyes or outright told me to “turn that crap off!”, so I’m still chalking it up as a victory on the Jazz Boner front.