Dexter Gordon is most famously known for his Blue Note recordings from the early 1960s. But Gordon (by then in his 40s) already had a well-established music career for 20 years before that. Dexter played for several top big bands in the 1940s and recorded one LP as a leader for Savoy. In the 1950s, he recorded several notable sessions, chief among which is this Bethlehem release, recorded in September of 1955. Backed by Kenny Drew, Leroy Vinnegar and Lawrence Marable, the album helped bring Gordon back into public attention from an absence of several years of drug addiction.
Gordon and pianist Kenny Drew share the front line trading off excellent solos on a mostly standards set of mid-tempo tunes. Recorded in 1955 in Hollywood, California and released by Bethlehem, the original LP is impossible to find. It’s mono of course and the original sound, with one exception, is quite good if not of audiophile heritage. One cut, ‘Autumn In New York’, sounds distorted and may have suffered some tape damage, but the mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering cannot be faulted. This is one of the great Bethlehem releases. Kudos to Pure Pleasure for this excellent sounding vinyl release. DD