Tag Archives: 1962

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 6 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Three O’Clock In the Morning

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It’s time to wrap this series up and put a bow on it. Rounding out Dexter Gordon’s GO! album is “Three O’Clock In The Morning.” The song was written by Spanish-Argentinian composer Julián Robledo in 1919 and was popularized in the United States by Paul Whiteman in 1922. The song has been recorded numerous times by artists ranging from Harry James to Lou Rawls (my 2nd favorite version next to Dexter’s).  Although the song was originally written as a waltz in three-four time, nowadays it’s typically played in four-four.

In Dexter’s recording, it begins with the piano quoting the chimes of London’s Big Ben clock. Many listeners, myself included, would think this is a nod to the intro of “If I Were A Bell” from Miles Davis’ Relaxin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet album (recorded 1956, released 1958). Both recordings use the Big Ben motif, but the 1922 Paul Whiteman recording also does.

When Dexter enters with the melody, the rhythm section is playing in two. On the second half of the tune, the rhythm section switches to playing in four and they stay there through until Dexter restates the second half of the melody at the end.

I don’t have a lot to say about Dexter’s solo. It is a textbook example of his playing. There are musical quotes, strong bebop vocabulary, he’s playing behind the beat, and most of the notes are tongued.

I hope you have enjoyed this series on Dexter Gordon’s GO! album. I learned and then wrote out these solos a few years ago. It’s been nice to revisit them and to share them with you.

Currently, I am learning John Coltrane’s solo on “Tenor Madness.” I’m in the early stages of that and it will be a while before I write it down.

In other news, a new EP titled shä brē el by Las Vegas artist Sabriel (The title is her name spelled phonetically.) is set for release next week. I played tenor saxophone on it and wrote the horn arrangement for the song “Garden.” It’s definitely worth a listen (or many!).

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 4 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Love For Sale

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Head and 1st Solo

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2nd Solo, Head, and Vamp

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Here’s a transcription of Love For Sale from Dexter Gordon’s Go! album. It starts off with a 2+3 clave in the drums that’s reminiscent of the beginning of Soy Califa from Dexter’s A Swingin’ Affair album. That feel continues through the “A” sections of the melody and changes to a swing feel in the bridge. When the rhythm section comes back in after Dexter’s solo break, it’s swing all the way.

Toward the end of the 1st solo (m. 197), there’s a tremolo that alternates between G and Bb. That is played by using the fingering below the asterisk and using the tongue to change the voicing of the note as you play it. I think of it as alternating between the syllables “ah” and “ee”. Another way to think of it might be to think of repeating the syllable “yah”. Dexter uses this device frequently as does Cannonball Adderley.

After the piano solo, Dexter comes back for a 2nd solo. Following that, there’s a return to the last “A” section of the melody and a return to the Latin feel from the beginning. After stating the melody, Dexter plays over a vamp and the recording fades out.

I’ll be back soon with Part 5 of this series, the beautiful ballad, “Where Are You?”

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 3 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Second Balcony Jump

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Second Balcony Jump is a Rhythm Changes tune by Dexter Gordon. It stands out to me because it has two different melodies. The last two measures of each “A” section is the same, but the rest of the two melodies are completely different.

While revisiting this material, I remembered an interesting fact about this album. Aside from the two ballads on the album, “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Up To Dry” and “Where Are You?”, Dexter Gordon plays 2 solos on every tune. The general form of the tunes is: melody, tenor solo, piano solo, tenor solo #2, melody.

I’ll be back soon with Part 4 of this series, “Love For Sale”.

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 2 of 6) Dexter Gordon – I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

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Here is the second song from Dexter Gordon’s Go! album, I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry. This is a beautiful ballad written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn. When I was learning this solo I checked out some vocal versions of this song. Frank Sinatra, of course, has a great version. The real surprise (at least to me) was a version by Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. It is incredible!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with the next installment in this series, Second Balcony Jump, in the next couple days.

Transcribed: The Go! Album (Part 1 of 6) Dexter Gordon – Cheese Cake

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This is a top to bottom transcription of Dexter Gordon on his tune Cheese Cake from the 1962 Go! album. It has the melody, Dexter’s solo, and the final melody with an 8-bar tag. A couple of years ago I decided to transcribe Dexter’s playing on the entire album. I’ll be sharing those transcriptions in upcoming posts.

Transcribed: You Stepped Out Of A Dream – Dexter Gordon

A Swingin' Affair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Dexter Gordon’s solo on You Stepped Out of a Dream from his 1962 album, A Swingin’ Affair.

You Stepped Out of a Dream – Dexter Gordon Solo by eddierich