Personnel: Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Jimmy Robinson (trumpet); Carl Perkins (piano); Leroy Vinnegar (bass); Chuck Thompson (drums).
Includes liner notes by Jon Clare.
DEXTER BLOWS HOT AND COOL was released at the outset of the saxophonist's hard-bop period. Often referred to as the horn player who served as the bridge between swing and bop styles, Gordon lives up to the definition with his combination of edgy, harmonic complexity and cool, Lester Young-inspired lyricism. An outstanding example of the latter can be found in the practically flawless version of "Cry Me A River," in which Gordon's tenor paints sound pictures of exquisite, aching beauty.
The driving, exuberant energy of such tracks as "Rhythm Mad" and "I Hear Music" shows that, while Dexter was influenced heavily by the swing saxophonists, he is still firmly rooted in the bop movement and owes as much to Parker as he does to Hawkins and Young. But Gordon's style is his own, as evidenced by his bright, earthy tone and unique expressive vocabulary. Marked by variety, strong compositions, and a fine group of backing musicians (including Carl Perkins on piano), this set indeed shows the hornsman making good on the title of the disc.