Next time around on the Vinyl Vault we’ll hear tracks from a classic album from tenor saxman Dexter Gordon, “Sophisticated Giant.” Released in 1977 on Columbia Records, the album featured an eleven-piece band with arrangements by trombonist Slide Hampton.
Gordon had been living in Europe for over a decade and this album marked his return to this side of the Atlantic. By 1977 Gordon had been a major force in jazz for many years and his homecoming made it easy to recruit a stable of top-flight players for the session. Besides his arranging duties, Hampton played trombone on the album. Other guests included Woody Shaw and Benny Bailey, both on trumpet and flugelhorn, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Frank Wess, flute, piccolo and alto sax; Howard Johnson on tuba; Wayne Andre, trombone; George Cables, piano; Rufus Reid, bass and Victor Lewis, drums.
With an eleven-piece band to work with, Hampton created endless colors and textures in his continually inventive arrangements. But, of course, he left plenty of room for improvisations by this veteran cast of players. We’ll hear Gordon’s composition “Fried Bananas” as well as Lionel Hampton’s “Red Top” and the standard, “You’re Blasé.”
Join Geoff Anderson for “Sophisticated Giant” on the next Vinyl Vault, on Tuesday, November 7 at 8:30 pm on KUVO JAZZ.
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