In 1962, when the 39-year old Dexter Gordon recorded Go, he had already lived a lifetime in jazz. After gaining experience playing with the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Louis Armstrong, in 1945, Gordon became the first tenor-saxophonist to not only master bebop but to develop his own distinctive sound in the new style. He recorded with Dizzy Gillespie and as a leader, and starred in late night jam sessions in Los Angeles with fellow tenors Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards. After a largely uneventful decade in the 1950s, Gordon made a major comeback in 1961 when he emerged in prime form on Blue Note, recording Dexter Calling. Its follow-up album Go! Was even better. Joined in his quartet by the great pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Butch Warren and drummer Billy Higgins, Gordon really digs into the colorful program. On such numbers as ''Three O'Clock In The Morning'' (a standard that was extinct after the early 1920s), ''Love For Sale,'' his own ''Cheesecake,'' and ''I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry,'' Gordon plays chorus after chorus of outstanding ideas in his huge tone. He caresses the melodies, creates solos that are full of swing, wit, and inspiration, and makes every phrase sound personal, fresh and original. There was no mistaking Dexter Gordon for anyone else, and he always gave one the impression that he could play for hours without running out of inventive ideas or personality. Go! Is an album that grows in interest and power with each listen. It is Dexter Gordon at the height of his powers.
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