Dexter Gordon - Oslo November 24 1962
01 - Second Balcony Jump (8:07)
02 - Ernie's Tune (7:43)
03 - Stanley The Steamer (8:07)
Dexter Gordon - Tenor Sax
Einar Iversen - Piano
Erik Amundsen - Bass
Jon Christensen - Drums
This was recorded during Dexter's first visit to Norway.
Dexter Gordon had such a colorful and eventful life (with three separate comebacks) that his story would make a great Hollywood movie. The top tenor saxophonist to emerge during the bop era and possessor of his own distinctive sound, Gordon sometimes was long-winded and quoted excessively from other songs, but he created a large body of superior work and could battle nearly anyone successfully at a jam session. His first important gig was with Lionel Hampton (1940-1943) although, due to Illinois Jacquet also being in the sax section, Gordon did not get any solos. In 1943, he did get to stretch out on a recording session with Nat "King" Cole. Short stints with Lee Young, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, and Louis Armstrong's big band preceded his move to New York in December 1944 and becoming part of Billy Eckstine's Orchestra, trading off with Gene Ammons on Eckstine's recording of "Blowin' the Blues Away." Gordon recorded with Dizzy Gillespie ("Blue 'N' Boogie") and as a leader for Savoy before returning to Los Angeles in the summer of 1946. He was a major part of the Central Avenue scene, trading off with Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards in many legendary tenor battles; studio recordings of "The Chase" and "The Duel" helped to document the atmosphere of the period.
After 1952, drug problems resulted in some jail time and periods of inactivity during the 1950s (although Gordon did record two albums in 1955). By 1960, he was recovered and soon he was recording a consistently rewarding series of dates for Blue Note. Just when he was regaining his former popularity, in 1962 Gordon moved to Europe where he would stay until 1976. While on the continent, he was in peak form and Gordon's many SteepleChase recordings rank with the finest work of his career. Gordon did return to the U.S. on an occasional basis, recording in 1965, 1969-1970, and 1972, but he was to an extent forgotten in his native land. It was therefore a major surprise that his return in 1976 was treated as a major media event. A great deal of interest was suddenly shown in the living legend with long lines of people waiting at clubs in order to see him. Gordon was signed to Columbia and remained a popular figure until his gradually worsening health made him semi-active by the early '80s. His third comeback occurred when he was picked to star in the motion picture 'Round Midnight and, even if his playing by then was past its prime, Gordon's acting was quite realistic and touching. He was nominated for an Academy Award, four years before his death after a very full life. Most of Dexter Gordon's recordings for Savoy, Dial, Bethlehem, Dootone, Jazzland, Blue Note, SteepleChase, Black Lion, Prestige, Columbia, Who's Who, Chiaroscuro, and Elektra Musician are currently available.
He was born in Mandal 27.07.1930. and grew up in Oslo, played in the school band at Katedralskolen and was sporadically active in jazz at the end of the 1940s. Following a year as a sailor and his military service in Tysklandsbrigaden (Germany Brigade), he became a professional musician in 1952, became known by the nickname Pastor'n, played with Cecil Aagard 1952 and 1953, debuted on record with Rowland Greenberg 1953, played for several years on the Norway - America transatlantic ocean liner, with Anthony Ortega 1954, The Modern Jazz Quartet 1955, Kenneth Fagerlund Orchestra in Gothenburg 1955 and recorded with Bjarne Nerem 1956. He kept placing in the top of the polls of those years (1953-1961) and played on recordings with Verden Rundt / Verdensrevyen's All Stars 1956 and 58 (e.g. the recording "Swingtime in Norway", 1956).
From 1957 to 1960 he was a member of the Åge Kjelstrup dance orchestra, the basis of two of the best jazz groups of the time: Mikkel Flagstad Quartet and Einar Iversen Trio. Several concerts and radio recordings documented Einar Iversen's status as the best pianist in Norway. He also played concerts with Karin Krog and with Lucky Thompson (1957). He was given the Buddy award as early as 1958.
When the Metropol Jazz Center opened in 1959 he was an obvious choice for backing musician, played with Dexter Gordon (1962), Coleman Hawkins (1963) and Johnny Griffin (1964), made a record with Magni Wentzel (1960), the film soundtrack for "Line" the same year, was a backing musician at the 1962-64 Molde festivals, while also leading groups bearing his name.
From the early 1960s he made his living as an accomplished theater musician (conductor and rehearsal accompanist), at Det Norske Teatret, Chat Noir, Oslo Nye Teater and back at Det Norske Teatret 1974-1984. Of course he continued with exciting jazz appearances, playing with Svend Asmussen and Stuff Smith in Sweden 1965, recording an LP with his trio ("Me and My Piano") 1967, in the Thorleif Østereng Radio Big Band at the end of the 1960s, in the TV series "På tomannshånd" 1969, and played in various Norwegian bands such as the Ditlef Eckhoff Quintet at the beginning of the 1970s, the Steen / Bergersen Quintet 1972-1973, Appaloosa Mainstream Ensemble 1976-1980 (recordings 1978 and 1979) and the Laila Dalseth Quintet 1980-1982.
Early in the 1970s he took an interest in ragtime music and made a successful recording of "The Sting" 1974, recorded with the Bjarne Nerem Quartet 1976, Laila Dalseth 1978, and made an eventful tour with Povel Ramel in the spring of 1978.
An illness rendered him partially inactive in the mid 1980s, but later he again proved himself to be among Norway's foremost jazz pianists, to wit, his recording of "Jazz på Norsk" (1990) and on his own excellent CD from 1991, "Who Can I Turn to". In the winter of 1992 he was finally portrayed on TV by the NRK, and in 1996 he played on Totti Bergh's CD "Warm Valley", in 1998 he made a CD of electric piano music called "Einar Iversen solo" and that fall he played at the Oslo Jazz Circle 50th anniversary concert, receiving an honorary award from the club. The Oslo Jazz Circle also released an anniversary CD with previously unreleased material from the years 1960-1994, "Portrait of a Norwegian Jazz Artist - Einar Iversen". At the end of the millennium there were more releases with Einar Iversen's name on the cover. "Pastor'n & Diffen - Plenty of" and "Merry Christmas", both recorded 1999, and a record with guitarist Thor Erik Falch from Raufoss (released 2000), a trio record with Tine Asmundsen and Svein Christiansen, "Seaview" 2000, in addition to the 2001 release of recordings from 1960-1994 in the Oslo Jazz Circle series "Portrait of a Norwegian Jazz Artist".
Erik is born in Oslo 01.02.1937. and the the brother of the pianist Arvid Amundsen and came to jazz at the early age of 14 as a member of Kjell Johansen's Bop Band (1951), had his first professional summer job at Larkollen in 1953 and his record debut at 17 (1954) with the Arvid Amundsen Trio and the Atle Hammer Sextet.
He soon came to be regarded as Norway's foremost bass player, played in the Karl Otto Hoff Trio and the Eilif Holm Quartet in the mid 50s, the Lars Sandsgaard Orchestra 1958-1959, John Svendsen's Radio group 1959 and periodically with the Kjell Karlsen Orchestra from 1959 (recording 1963). At the Metropol Jazz Center (1960-1965) he was an obvious choice for a backing musician, he was a festival backing musician at Molde 1962-1964, and played with many well-known international musicians. He made his name internationally and was picked for the European All Star gathering in 1961, the same year he won the Buddy award.
At home he played with all the leading Norwegian musicians, such as Mikkel Flagstad, Einar Iversen and Frode Thingnæs, recorded with Magni Wentzel and made film music for "Line" in 1960, recorded with Karin Krog, Laila Dalseth, Bjørn Johansen and Jan Berger 1963. The following years he often played in duo or trio with the guitarist Berger, but became less musically active during the years when jazz was at a low ebb, from the mid-60s. But he did his part in trying to improve things as chairman of the Norwegian Jazz Forum 1966-1967.
When jazz again began to come alive, this eminent bassist joined the Steen / Bergersen Quintet 1969-1971. He played with Bjarne Nerem at the opening of the Amalienborg Jazz House 1973, with Al Cohn and Bud Freeman at Molde 1975, the group "Ool-Ya-Koo" 1979-1983, then increasingly active in the groups VSOBOP 1987-1989, Street Swingers from 1988 (CD "About time" 2001), the Per Borthen Swing Dept. Ltd from 1989, and the Swingfot Jazzband ("Swing Foot Jazz Band"), Storeslem ("Grand Slam") and Fine Together Jazz Octet, all from 1992, the last one renamed in 1994 to Jazz A Pell Oktett. In 2000 he set up a sextet in his own name, also demonstrating his gift for arrangement.
There have been few recordings, but luckily he can be heard on Monica Borgen's "Tenderly" from 1993, Totti Bergh's "Remember" from 1995 and on recordings from the Oslo Jazz Circle jubilee concert in the fall of 1998. Unfortunately, he got a stroke in the early 2002 and he is not active at the time.
Jon was born in Oslo 20.03.1943. and he started out at 15 as a big band drummer, at first in Gunnar Brostigen's orchestra, then with Arild Bjørk (1960), played with Finn Melbye's quintet in the Norwegian jazz amateur competition 1960; the band won first prize and Jon Christensen himself became runner up among the soloists.
This soon made him a much sought after drummer, he was a member of the Arild Wikstrøm Quartet from 1961, he played steady with Egil Kapstad's trio (and Karin Krog) 1962-1964, was a backing musician at the Metropol jazz club (1962-1965) where he met international stars like Bud Powell, Don Ellis and Dexter Gordon. He was in the festival backing at Molde 1963-1965, 67 and 69, played in Karin Krog's quartet 1963-1968 (recordings 1963, 1964 and 1966, festivals at Antibes 1964 and Montreux 1968), Terje Bjørklund Trio 1965-1966, in addition to playing with Egil Kapstad (recording 1967) and Steve Kuhn (1968). In 1967 he won the Jazznytt musician poll and the Jazz Association's Buddy award.
In 1964 he embarked on his lasting cooperation with Jan Garbarek, at first in Jan Garbarek's quartet 1964-1967, trio / quartet 1967-1969 (recording 1967) and quartet / quintet 1969-1972 (recordings 1969, 1970 and 1971, with Jan Erik Vold 1969, 1970 and 1973). He also recorded with Terje Rypdal (1968 and 1971), George Russell (1969, 1970 and 1971), Jan Allan and Rune Gustafsson (1969), Bobo Stenson and Palle Danielsson (1971) and Nordic Big Band (1971), played in Arild Boman's experimental groups (1968-1969) and Frode Thingnæs' sextet (Montreux 1969), worked with Stan Getz (1970), Sonny Rollins (1971), Joe Farrell (1971) and European workshop (1972).
During 1972-1974 he played with Terje Rypdal (recordings 1973 and 1974), recorded with George Russell and Ketil Bjørnstad 1973 and in the same year joined the Jan Garbarek / Bobo Stenson Quartet (1973-1977, recordings 1973, 1975 and 1977, also with Jan Erik Vold 1977), made records with Karin Krog (1973-1974), Ralph Towner (1974 and 1977), Jan Garbarek / Keith Jarrett (6 LPs 1974-1979), Enrico Rava (1975 and 1976), Eberhard Weber (1975), voted Drummer of the Year by the European Jazz Federation 1975, during this period he played with countless international names and was practically the house drummer for the German record label ECM.
In 1976 he made the first record under his own name, "No Time for Time" with his young colleague Pål Thowsen, and won the Spelleman award for this (1977). He was a member of several bands, the Radka Toneff Quintet 1976-1978 (recording 1977), the group Blow Out 1977-1978 (recording 1977), Terje Rypdal / Palle Mikkelborg quartet and trio 1977-1080 (recordings 1978 and 1979) and Miroslav Vitous Group 1979-1982 (recordings 1979, 1980 and 1982), recorded with Lennart Åberg (1977), and Mike Nock (1981), besides playing in Det Skandinaviske Jazzensemblet 1980 and 1981 under the leadership of Carla Bley and Gil Evans.
1981-1982 he was again a member of Jan Garbarek's quartet (recording 1981), the Knut Riisnæs Quartet 1981-1984 (recording 1982) and the Jazz Punk Ensemble 1982-1985, and there were more recordings (Stu Goldberg and Håkon Graf 1982) by this eminent drummer who no doubt holds the Norwegian record for appearances on record.
In 1982 he joined Arild Andersen in establishing a quintet with the young musicians Nils Petter Molvær, Tore Brunborg and Jon Balke, after 1984 the group would be called Masqualero after their first record (1983). With Masqualero he has made a further three records ("Bande a part" 1985, "Aero" 1987 and "Re-enter" 1990), received three Spellemann awards (1983, 1986 and 1991), and played festival gigs and tours both in Europe and the US.
Jon Christensen is an extremely open minded and sensitive drummer, but also a governing dynamic force and with a very decisive influence on the musical outcome. The 1980s and 1990s have also brought exciting commissions, such as Brødrene Balke's Etno Funk (Kongsberg 1984), E'Olen (Molde 1985), his "percussionist workshop" with Alex Riel at Kongsberg 1986, stints with Lars Danielsson Quartet from 1985 (recordings 1985, 1994 and 1996), John Scofield 1989-1992, Sidsel Endresen Group from 1990 (recordings 1990 and 1993), Oslo 13 from the same year (recording 1992), Bennie Wallace 1991, trio with Bobo Stenson and Bjørn Alterhaug from 11992, Tore Brunborg Prosjekt from 1992 (recording same year), Bugge Wesseltoft 1993, and recordings with Göran Klinghagen (1986), Harry Pepl / Herbert Joos (1987), Alfred Janson (1987), Per Husby (1987), Bjørn Alterhaug (1988 and 1990-91), Jazz-Punk Ensemblet (1991 and 1997), Tomasz Stanko (record 1991 and Molde gig 1997), music for the old silent film "Laila", records with Ingeborg Hungnes / Terje Venaas (1993), Ketil Bjørnstad (1993 and 1994), Bendik Hofseth (1994), Misha Alperin (1995 and 1997), Terje Rypdal (1996), Bobo Stenson Trio ("Serenity" 1999), Olga Konkova (2001) and Ron Olsen (released 2002).
Catch your breath - we also need to mention that he received the Oslo Artist Award 1987 and was voted Musician of the Year 1992 by the FNJ.