Dexter Gordon – Night in Tunisia, Whats New, Blues Walk (1964-64)


“… When the performances on this DVD were filmed in Europe in 1963 and 1964, Dexter Gordon was not on tour from the United States. He was living in Copenhagen, Denmark, working for months at a time at the Montmartre Jazz Club. At the time of the concert in Lugano, Switzerland, on September 20, 1963, Dexter was 40 years old and was referred to as an expatriate even though he never considered himself anything but a jazz musician living in Europe where he could find steady work and peace of mind. When he wasn’t working, he would often be seen riding around town on his bicycle. Though clearly attached to the United States —he made numerous trips back to visit his family—he considered Copenhagen his second home. … Dexter Gordon often used the rhythm section on this performance in Amersfoort, Holland, and on the last one on the DVD recorded January 8, 1964, in Brussels, Belgium, when he was on tour. … This was surely the case because they can be seen in many European TV appearances, including those with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Johnny Griffin and Donald Byrd. … The personnel on this performance is the same as that on the July 29, 1964, television recording in Amersfoort, Holland: George Gruntz, piano; Guy Pederson, bass; and Daniel Humair, drums. The compositions played on this DVD were part of Dexter Gordon’s repertoire during this period when he was living in Europe. He played ‘Body and Soul’, ‘You’ve Changed’, ‘Second Balcony Jump’, ‘What’s New’ and ‘Lady Bird’ almost nightly—and re-worked them every time. (‘Lady Bird’ was written by Tadd Dameron. Called ‘the romanticist of the bebop movement’ by Dexter, he also composed ‘If You Could See Me Now’, which became Sarah Vaughan’s first signature song.) The chance to hear and see these performances after listening to them on LPs and CDs makes us acutely aware of the ability of jazz musicians to interpret and re-interpret and then re-interpret again what we think of as a perfect performance. …”
Jazz Icons: Dexter Gordon
YouTube: Night in Tunisia, Whats new, Blues Walk

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