Joe Gordon (tp), Gigi Gryce (as), Charlie Rouse (ts), Junior Mance, Walter Bishop (p), Jimmy Schenck, Bernie Griggs (b), Art Blakey (d), Sabu Martínez (conga)
Reference: FSRCD 380
Bar code: 8427328603805
These Joe Gordon sessions from 1954 show how the young trumpeter from Boston left his mark on jazz history as one of hard-bops most innovative and outstanding soloists. All these recordings were made in New York in 1954 and represent Gordons introduction into the jazz scene as a leader of his own group and also as a featured soloist with the Art Blakey Quintet. Before his tragic early death in 1963, Joe Gordon managed to inspire and amaze all those who heard.
"One of the top hard bop trumpeters to emerge during the 1950s, Joe Gordon was just 26 when he recorded the two sessions that are on this excellent reissue. The first eight numbers are from his debut as a leader, a quintet project from September 1954 that matches his boppish horn with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, pianist Junior Mance, bassist Jimmy Schneck, and drummer Art Blakey. The repertoire consists of two tunes by Gordon, three from Quincy Jones, and a trio of jazz standards. Gordon's only other set as a leader would be in 1961. The second half of this reissue is an Art Blakey pre-Jazz Messengers set comprised of seven songs by altoist Gigi Gryce and one Horace Silver tune. Gordon and Gryce blend together quite well while joined by pianist Walter Bishop, bassist Bernie Griggs, Blakey, and, during "Futurity," Sabu on conga. Both of these albums, reissued in full on a single CD, were originally cut for the Emarcy label. Easily recommended to hard bop collectors."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
Joe Gordon biography:
"A fine bop-oriented trumpeter, Joe Gordon's tragic death in a fire cut short any chance he had at fame in the jazz world. He became a professional in 1947 and had stints with Georgie Auld, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker (on an occasional basis during 1953-1955), Art Blakey (1954), and Don Redman. Gordon was with Dizzy Gillespie's 1956 big band, touring the Mideast, and getting a solo on "Night in Tunisia." He was in the Horace Silver quintet, moved back to Boston for a period, and then relocated to Los Angeles where he worked and recorded with Barney Kessel, Benny Carter, Harold Land, Shelly Manne, Dexter Gordon, and Shelly Manne (1958-1960). Joe Gordon, who led dates for EmArcy (1955) and Contemporary (1961), was on one Thelonious Monk recording and spent his last few years as a freelance musician."
-All Music Guide