Dexter Gordon: Gettin’ Around (1965) Blue Note

Track Selection:  Manaha da Carnaval

.  .  .


Dexter Gordon, tenor sax; Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone;  Barry Harris, piano; Bob Cranshaw bass;  Billy Higgins, drums; recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, May 28-9, 1965

Dexter’s last major release for Blue Note, not long after which he moved to Europe, to Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen, where he could continue to play modern jazz. Most subsequent Dexter releases are found on Steeplechase, a label well-regarded by audiophiles.


This record follows Dexter’s by now well-established formula of standards given a luxurious tenor voice makeover. However this time the addition of Bobby Hutcherson and his percussive spacey vibraphone adds welcome colour and texture to Dexter’s rich  tenor melody lines, and Barry Harris very classy block chord comping rounds off the picture, with Higgins and Cranshaw doing the heavy lifting in the rhythm area.

The selected track  Manaha da Carnaval has a latin tinge, as was fashionable, but it is quickly overtaken by music that swings to its own jazzy beats. Never let a fashion stand in the way of good jazz.

Vinyl : BLP 4205 NY  labels, VAN GELDER, mono, no “ear”

It’s a BINO – Bluenote in Name Only. One of the forty or so recordings prepared for release by Blue Note but eventually first released after the sale of Blue Note to Liberty, pressed at Liberty pressing plants, hence “no ear”.

What it does have is the routine VAN GELDER machine stamp at around 2 o’clock and a very neat small catalogue number hand-inscribed at 8 o’clock. Not the same flamboyant hand that wrote the big numbers on original Blue Notes, but a different small precise neat hand.

(VACANCY! the Vinyl Detective Squad has an exciting opportunity to join its forensic team, as a Graphology intern. The successful candidate will be expected to learn to read deadwax engravings expertly, working extremely long hours under poor lighting conditions and without pay. A magnifying glass will be provided. On successful completion of their internship, the Consulting Detective Graphologist will be licensed to wear sunglasses after dark, and carry a very large handgun)

Despite its Liberty origin, the pressing is nonetheless sonically equivalent to a New York Blue Note, with a wide dynamic range and the house-style of Van Gelder microphone placement and well-engineered instrument balance. Would that all records were as well made as this.

Collectors Corner

Gettin’ Around completes my selection of Dexter Gordon Blue Notes bar one, the elusive and much sought after Swingin’ Affair.

This one was a retail purchase from a Central London store , for a very reasonable price. (I have to be polite here as the jazz specialist at the store, I’ll call him “Tony” to protect his identity, is an occasional reader of this blog. Hi “Tony” (not his real name)  if you are reading this) This is one of my favourite London stores, which often manages to find one or two interesting jazz records where others don’t.  Keep up the good work “Tony”.

10 thoughts on “Dexter Gordon: Gettin’ Around (1965) Blue Note

  1. I have both the original and king pressing, in my system the king pressing definitely has the highs rolled off abit. Music is awesome. Le coiffure is amazing and my favorite

  2. It might be wise to shift forward a year to 1959. Then you’ll be able to listen to Kind of Blue, Mingus Ah Um, The Shape of Jazz to Come, and Giant Steps. My CV is in the post.

  3. As we have to wait another three years for the invention of Time Travel in 2015, I have decided the Vinyl Detective Squad will remain based in 1958 until futher notice. You seem to have a flair for legal matters, Alun. We have an ideal opening for you as Consigliere. As the squad’s legal advisor, you will be armed only with a subpoena, but you get to wear sharp suits with very wide lapels. If interested, lodge your cv in triplicate with Personnel.

  4. The Freelance Consulting Detective Graphologists Association here. Your advert for an intern Consulting Detective Graphologist has been brought to our attention. You mention that on successful completion of their internship, the Consulting Detective Graphologist will be licensed to wear sunglasses after dark, and carry a very large handgun.

    Please note that Federal laws relating to Internship (sub-section 143(b): Consulting Detective Graphologist) changed in 1969.

    On completion of the internship your intern will *not* be allowed to carry a large hand gun without a mandatory Federal license (State laws apply and vary from state to state) but in addition to other entitlements (which may change from time to time) *is* licensed to smoke unfiltered cigarettes (of his or her choice) and drink black coffee throughout the day and if desired during all hours of darkness.

    PLease confirm that these amendments to the relevant Federal laws are being observed at Londonjazzcollector, Inc. Thank you.

  5. The CD sports two bonus cuts: “Very Saxily Yours” and “Flick Of A Trick” (a smooth, over 10 minute long bluesy gem). This is one of those perfect albums for a lazy Sunday afternoon. And about the cover: Francis Wolff must have had a fling with big walls and the artist in front of it. Joe Henderson’s “Page One” cover jumps to mind, doesn’t it?

    On another note, maybe Francis said to Dexter: “Just grab one of those bikes and make it look as if you’re about to take off, it’ll make for a nice snapshot”. And then Dexter said: “O.K., will do, but this bike is locked, Francis.” -“Doesn’t matter, Dex, you’re too far away in the photo anyway, people won’t notice”. -“But what if the owner of the bike shows up? They’ll kick me in the gonads…” -“Just get your behind on the bike and get it over with…” The more or less startled look on Dexter’s face adds much to that story.

    Little did Francis know that 47 years down the road, we’d have access to LJC’s larger than life front cover photos and what do we see there? Yes! The bike is locked! 😉

    (For those not in the know: the lock, horse shoe shaped when unlocked, is located right under the saddle above the back wheel. If it is locked, it creates a closed circle between the spokes, hence making it impossible for thieves to steal it. Just look closely at the front cover in full size…!)

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