Dexter Gordon: Gingerbread Boy


Gingerbread Boy


Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)


Homecoming: Live At The Village Vanguard (Columbia 34650)

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Dexter Gordon (tenor sax), Woody Shaw (trumpet), Ronnie Matthews (piano), Stafford James (bass), Louis Hayes (drums).

Composed by Jimmy Heath


Recorded: Village Vanguard, New York City, December 11-12, 1976


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

This recording contains all the feeling of New York in the ’70s. It was a big event in jazz when Dexter Gordon returned to the scene as a bandleader, his personal charisma in good part spurring on the resurgence of “straight-ahead” jazz in the latter part of the decade. The collaboration of the Shaw/Hayes group with Dexter on this recording, Live at the Vanguard, led to Woody’s signing with CBS and the inception of the most fruitful and successful period of his career. On “Gingerbread Boy,” a blues, Woody engages in a canny strategy (after Dexter’s long solo) of starting his solo trading “twelves” with Louis Hayes, then moving to a continuous solo statement later on—a great way of focusing attention and refreshing a long piece! Hearing Woody alongside Dexter, I really feel the continuity of tradition between these two players of different generations. Even as Woody stakes out his own position (and puts some fire on Dexter in the process!), his reference and knowledge of the tradition complements the older master quite well indeed.

Reviewer: Brian Lynch

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