Dexter Gordon expatriated to Scandinavia shortly before this session was recorded in Paris. The influential tenor saxophonist remarked that he was liberated in many ways, as a jazz musician and as a human being. This is largely reflected in the track lengths on One Flight Up, particularly "Tanya" which takes up the entire first side. No longer restricted to the American music scene's expectation that jazz musicians produce a two or three minute hit, Gordon and his quintet were able to jam for extended lengths. Gordon's bluesy tenor is slightly subdued against the upfront trumpet of Donald Byrd, while pianist Kenny Drew's chord structures hold the song together. "Coppin' The Haven" provides more space for Byrd to let loose, it's modal minor key floating easily over the swinging rhythm section. The selection closes with "Darn That Dream," a ballad that is fully given over to Gordon.
- music label: Blue Note Records 1964 / 2015
reviewed by Cool Hand 07/2015