November 20 street date. Dexter Gordon's "Both Sides of Midnight" from Black Lion Records, remastered for the first time in decades by legendary engineer, Bernie Grundman. Recorded in the summer of 1967 at Montmartre Jazzhuis in Copenhagen, Denmark, Both Sides of Midnight is considered to be one of Dexter Gordon's best recorded performances. The title references Gordon's role in the full-length feature film, Round Midnight. Dexter plays extended solos, backed by a rhythm section of Kenny Drew on piano, Neils-Henning Orsted Pederson on bass (21 years old at the time), and Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums.
September 3 street date. The Boplicity label was one of the earliest entries into the jazz reissue market in the mid 1980s. In 2013 we are re-launching the label as the home for our small but distinct catalogue of 1950s and 1960s ‘modern jazz’. Each of the releases will strive for the highest quality in sound reproduction, mastered from fresh transfers from first generation mastertapes, and featuring bonus tracks where relevant. Our first selections come from the small but distinctive catalogue of Dootsie William’s Dootone label. All have been remastered from source tapes, have fresh sleeve notes and are packaged in a digipack. 'Dexter Blows Hot & Cool' is the shining pinnacle of the Dootone jazz recordings. Gordon was the pioneer of bebop’s tenor saxophone playing. His recordings of the late 40s transcribed the bebop revolution to the instrument and forged the path for the next generation; players such as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. He was sadly under-recorded in the first golden age of the album as he spent much of the 1950s in prison. This is one of only two albums from that time and a certified classic. Dexter had a strong bluesy tone, and his habit of playing slightly behind the beat gave his sound a relaxed feel. It made him perfectly suited to covering ‘Cry Me A River’, but he also shone on uptempo numbers such as ‘Rhythm Mad’ material. The Quintet features several of the greatest names in West Coast Jazz : Leroy Vinnegar and the young piano protégé Carl Perkins. Whilst Dexter’s 60s and 70s recordings are considered his finest, he was equally capable in the 50s.
September 23 street date. Non-returnable. This essential collection including thirty of the best original recordings in the history of Jazz, in remastered editions and presented in a beautiful digipack format. The thirty titles in the collection are presented under new pockets, revealing unpublished portraits of artists taken by some of the greatest photographers who devoted their work to pass through their Camera, the essence of Jazz, with among others, Francis Wolff and William Claxton. Most of the albums of this collection are completed by multiple bonus tracks or combined with other full albums from the same artist.
June 3 street date. AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic album series with a re-mastered 2CD release by Dexter Gordon (Second Set), complete with original artwork and liner notes : "Doin' Alright"; "Dexter Calling"; "Go!" and "A Swingin' Affair". Dexter Gordon really did have quite an extraordinarily prolific career starting from a very early age when he began learning the clarinet at 13 before switching to the alto and then tenor sax at 15. His career could be said to pretty much span the great jazz decades from the 1940's to the 1970's with the most important time being the 1940's to the 1960's when he made his great comeback. The list of great jazz artists he played with reads like a veritable who's who of the jazz world from the 1940's and onwards. The following is just a few names he has played with, while still at school he was playing in the Chico Hamilton and Buddy Collette bands. Then we see him joining the Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong and Billy Eckstine bands. Not forgetting Nat Cole, Dizzy, Bird, Wardell Gray (the famous duets period), Harry "Sweets" Edison, Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Gerry Mulligan and Tadd Dameron to name only a few more! The 1950's saw Dexter in and out of prison for mainly drug related problems but he did manage to continue playing and even tried his hand at the West Coast Cool School of playing. However he was primarily a be-bopist and the 1960's saw his great comeback when he signed for Blue Note in 1961. His time on the West Coast had also given him time to listen to the new modal and hard bop styles of two guys he had himself previously influenced, namely Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. This influence can be heard on some of our selections from the great Blue Note period. By 1962, however, he had left New York for gigs in Europe not to return until 1976. But that, as they say is another story!
June 3 street date. 180 GRAM. Tenor-saxophonist Dexter Gordon was in peak form when recording at Copenhagen’s Legendary Jazzhus Montmartre in 1967. A portion of that recording would later become Body & Soul, an album originally released
by Black Lion Records, which has been out of press on vinyl for almost three decades. Now, just shy of fifty years after the performance was recorded, the album finally receives the audiophile treatment it deserves.
August 12 street date. This 1963 date is titled for Dexter Gordon’s living in self-imposed Parisian exile and recording there with two other expatriates and a French native. Along with Gordon, pianist Bud Powell and Kenny “Klook” Clarke were living in the City of Lights and were joined by the brilliant French bassman Pierre Michelot. Gordon is at the very top of his game here. His playing is crisp, tight, and full of playful fury. Powell, who at this stage of his life was almost continually plagued by personal problems, never sounded better than he does in this session. His playing is a tad more laid-back here, but is nonetheless full of the brilliant harmonic asides and incendiary single-note runs he is legendary for. The rhythm section is close-knit and stop-on-a-dime accurate. Numbered first press of 500 copies.
April 22 street date. During a two day period (July 20-21, 1967) tenor-saxophonist Dexter Gordon and his quartet recorded multiple albums worth of material at one of Gordon's favorite venues, the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. The results are undoubtedly among his finest European recordings. This record, Walk The Blues, is pulled from the second night of recording, and finds Dexter in an expansive, relaxed mood in front of an appreciative audience. These brilliant recordings will now make their vinyl debut on this 180g audiophile-grade LP, pressed at Pallas in Germany. This limited edition color vinyl pressing is available exclusively for Record Store Day 2017.SIDE A: 01 Blues Walk 02 I Guess I'll Have To Hang My Tears Out To Dry / SIDE B: 01 Love for Sale
June 2 street date. First Time on 180g Audiophile Vinyl! Pressed at Pallas In Germany! Recorded live in July of 1967 at the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, this selection finds tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon and his quartet (pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath) in top form. Two of the standards on this hard-swinging set (But Not for Me & Take the ‘A’ Train) are over ten minutes long, allowing Gordon to stretch out creatively. The historic recording finally gets its vinyl debut with this 180 gram audiophile-grade Pallas pressing.
June 23 street date. Non-returnable. During a period of Dexter Gordon’s (tenor sax) life -- when he was deep into chronic drug addiction -- the artist was miraculously able to reignite his career during the latter part of 1955. After several years of being out of the spotlight, Gordon resurfaced on the Big Apple-based indie Bethlehem imprint with the half-dozen sides that comprise Daddy Plays the Horn (1956). Joining him as key constituents of the credited Dexter Gordon Quartet are Kenny Drew (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), and Larry Marable (drums). While the support team provides Gordon top-notch contributions throughout, it is unquestionably Drew who offers the most in terms of active interaction and his prominence cannot be overstated. Nowhere is that as noticeable as the good-natured interaction heard on the disc’s opener, the Gordonpenned title composition “Daddy Plays the Horn.” In fact it could be argued that Drew enhances the tenor to the point of practically being a co-leader. The update of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s bop standard “Confirmation” is taken at a steady mid-tempo pace, allowing plenty of room for the participants to have their say and not get in the way of the melody. Gordon seems considerably more relaxed and comfortable as he spreads line upon line of inspired improvisation. Drew is once again a real treat to hear briefly taking charge of the rhythm section.
Please note: new street date is December 1. Dexter Gordon recorded dozens of albums and played hundreds of live shows, but none better than what’s captured on this 1967 date at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. The hard-bop saxophonist blows nothing less than a 28-chorus solo without referencing one standard tune on an epic 12-bar rendition of “Sonnymoon for Two” and, for good measure, sails through an extended, calypso-themed version of Ben Tucker’s “Devilette.” Want sentimentality? No problem. Get lost on “Misty,” on which pianist Kenny Drew and drummer Al Heath add their own signature strokes. What a set! Both Sides of Midnight marks Gordon’s peak live recorded document and a can’t-miss opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to get closer to the man and his music. An Indie Exclusive edition comes on 180gram translucent green vinyl and is limited to just 300 copies.