Personnel: Dexter Gordon (soprano & tenor saxophones); Eddie Jefferson (vocals); Frank Wess (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo); Howard Johnson (baritone saxophone, tuba); Benny Bailey, Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn); Slide Hampton, Wayne Andre, Curtis Fuller (trombone); Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone); George Cables (piano); Rufus Reid (bass); Victor Lewis, Eddie Gladden (drums).
Recorded at Sound Ideas, New York, New York on June 21 & 22, 1977 and at Columbia Studios, New York, New York on January 26, 1979. Includes liner notes by Michael Cuscuna and Bruce Lundvall.
Digitally remastered by Debra Parkinson (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
Tenor sax legend Dexter Gordon--one of the first to apply Charlie Parker's bebop innovations to the tenor-- returned to the USA after a long stay in Europe. He landed on one of the major labels with a sympathetic producer, which afforded him the opportunity to record with a large group. (Gordon's usual performing format is sax/piano/bass/drums). With arrangements by trombonist Slide Hampton, Gordon and producer Michael Cuscuna assembled a "dream band" featuring Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Benny Bailey and Howard Johnson.
The soloists are inspired, the arrangements leave plenty of room for individual expression yet keep things fleet and tuneful, and Gordon's tenor is full-bodied, rich and robust throughout. As a bonus, Gordon plays soprano sax on the bossa nova standard "How Insensitive," and there are two bonus songs of Gordon's Quartet with a special guest, jazz singer Eddie Jefferson. GIANT is a fine example of 1970s mainstream jazz.