Great Jazz Vinyl Countdown: Doin’ Allright

Sometimes you forget to listen to great records, right? You have a limited amount of time to listen, and there are all the other great records, and then there are the other records that have never made it to your turntable and you figure they deserve a chance as well. And, what happens, at least to me, is that some of the great records get buried on the shelf and sometimes go years without being heard. So this week I’ve been going through my Blue Notes and I had about an hour yesterday to just sit and listen and I decided it was time to take one of those records off the shelf and put it on. The record I chose: Dexter Gordon, Doin’ All Right, Blue Note 4077. And I put it on, the first track, I Was Doing All Right, and I smiled instantly and said quietly to myself, “Oh, yeah.” Oh yeah, as in

oh yeah this a great record and oh yeah this is why I love Dexter Gordon and oh yeah this is why people go nuts over Blue Notes. This was Dexter’s first Blue Note as a leader and it really marked the beginning of his return to prominence after years of obscurity. The liner notes, by Ira Gitler, are prescient. At one point, Gitler notes that Gordon’s “presence has not been directly felt on the jazz scene as a whole in a long time.” At another he notes “the ’60s are a decade of new promise for Gordon.” Who would have expected even then that the rest of Gordon’s career would have catapulted him to such fame and renown, and who would have expected the kind of brilliant creative output that marked the rest of his days. There is definitely a joy in this album and a kind of sense of Dexter saying “I’m here.” ¬†There is a power and masculinity in his playing and confidence and brilliance of ideas, right from the beginning of his first solo. I will not get into a review: I would suggest you listen to the album yourself, even if you have to listen to it on CD. In any case, as I go through my Great Jazz Vinyl Countdown, this record is not going anywhere.

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