Dexter Gordon: The Moontrane


The Moontrane


Dexter Gordon (soprano & tenor saxes)


Sophisticated Giant (CBS 4671812)

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Dexter Gordon (soprano & tenor saxes), Woody Shaw (trumpet & flugelhorn),

Benny Bailey (trumpet and flugelhorn), Slide Hampton, Wayne Andre (trombones), Frank Wess (sax and woodwinds), Howard Johnson (sax and tuba), Bobby Hutcherson (vibes), George Cables (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)


Composed by Woody Shaw. Arranged by Slide Hampton


Recorded: New York, June 1977


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

I have loved every version of Woody Shaw's "The Moontrane" I ever heard. This one is no exception. After 30 years, it still grabs me. If there were still real jazz shows on the radio, this would be the perfect theme song. Gordon's introduction is an exposition of somber nuance. It is deep and rich. The band, sounding big-band, kicks right into this swinging arrangement. Dexter takes the first powerful solo. He was just back from his self-imposed European exile and is sounding great! The composer, Shaw himself, plays the second solo the way the composer of this song should. The tune is filled out with a full assault on its main riff. "The Moontrane" is a driving tune that everyone should have in their collection.

By the way, I did use this rendition of "The Moontrane" as the theme to my own college radio show "Jazz Journey with Walter Kay" way back in 1979. We blasted this baby into the night sky with as much power as our 10 watts could muster!

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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