Album of the Month: Dexter Gordon – Our Man In Paris (1963)

Album of the Month: Dexter Gordon – Our Man In Paris (1963)

Genre: Jazz

Style: Tenor Saxophone | Hard Bop | Bepop

Recorded in Paris during his self-imposed exile to Europe, Dexter Gordon joins Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and Pierre Michelot who at the time had been performing as a trio known as “The Three Bosses”. Despite the fact that Bud Powell would only play jazz standards at the time, it did not hinder the album from being a sublime bop masterpiece.

Covering classics from Charlie Parker, Ann Ronell to Dizzy Gillespie the quartet performs simple yet powerful renditions with masterclass soloing from Gordon and Powell, not forgetting the often understated but essential drum and bass work of Clarke and Michelot who provides a strong backbone allowing Gordon and Powell’s endless choruses of bop lines to take flight.

Gordon’s interpretation of “A Night In Tunisia” is often heralded as one of the best versions done and it is hard to disagree as the quartet melds perfectly showcasing a dizzying array of skill and class.

Dexter Gordon’s Our Man In Paris is a vivid demonstration in hard bop and modal tonalities, and would sit well in any hardcore or moderate jazz fan’s collection.

Essential Tracks: “Willow Weep For Me” “A Night In Tunisia”

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