One Flight Up was recorded in Paris on June 2, 1964, at CBS Studios. At the time, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was living in Copenhagen. Hooking up with fellow expatriates Donald Byrd (trumpet) and Art Taylor (drums), and enlisting the phenomenal Danish bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (then only 17 years old), he recorded four rather lengthy tracks for the project, three of which ("Tanya," "Coppin' the Haven," and "Darn That Dream") appeared on the original Blue Note LP. This reissue adds the fourth piece attempted that day, "Kong Neptune." The end result is what is perhaps the most underrated album in Gordon's canon, and the two modal-inflected pieces here, the 18-minute "Tanya" and the 11-plus minute "Coppin' the Haven," feature wonderful examples of Gordon's unique, slightly wounded-sounding sax style. As a black jazz musician living in Europe, Gordon would later say of this period that he finally felt like he could breathe, both as a horn player and as a human being. All of that freedom and well-deserved personal dignity are reflected in this set, and while a lot of European jazz recordings suffer in comparison with their American counterparts, that is not the case here.
Personnel: Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Kenny Drew (piano); Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass); Art Taylor (drums).
02 Coppin' the Haven
03 Darn That Dream
04 Kong Neptune - (previously unreleased, bonus track)