Joe Gordon: A Song for Richard


A Song for Richard


Joe Gordon (trumpet)


Lookin' Good! (Contemporary OJCCD-1934-2)

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Joe Gordon (trumpet), Jimmy Woods (alto sax), Dick Whittington (piano),

Jimmy Bond (bass), Milt Turner (drums)


Composed by Joe Gordon


Recorded: Los Angeles, July 11, 1961


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

In The Jazz Reviewer's Handbook of Essential Clichés, Joe Gordon's placement among the "underrated" is secure, as is sideman Jimmy Woods's spot beneath "unrecognized." Each recorded only twice as leader before Gordon's accidental death at 35 and Woods's baffling disappearance from music soon thereafter. Both deserved better. Gordon's sound, pinched even on open horn, fit the Harmon mute as precisely as if it had been machine-tooled at the factory. Woods's warm, congenial alto complemented Joe's buttoned-down reserve through contrast. Surprisingly, in our Harmon-ized Dozen, sad ballads—the Harmon's native habitat—are outnumbered by optimistic swingers. This track joins the majority.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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