It is Dexter Gordon’s birthday today and so what better way to celebrate than with a look back at a classic. Our Man In Paris was Gordon’s first recording after arriving in Europe in the late summer of 1962 and it was done at the CBS Studios in the French capital on 23 May 1963. The session began around 3.45pm in the afternoon and finished at 9pm that the evening. Joining Dexter Gordon are pianist Bud Powell who had moved to Paris in 1959 and drummer Kenny Clarke who was also living in the city by this time. The two of them had teamed up with bassist, Pierre Michelot, under the name The Three Bosses and often playing together; as a result this album has a real feeling of togetherness.
Our Man In Paris includes, ‘A Night In Tunisia’, one of Dexter’s greatest ever performances, made even more so by the fact that this was the first and only take. Every track offers different shades of the Gordon tenor saxophone. From the lyrical and sultry, ‘Stairway To The Stars’ through to the upbeat ‘Scrapple From The Apple.’ Bud Powell plays exceptionally well on ‘Willow Weep For Me’ adding a sense of newness to a tune that even by this time had been recorded many times. Given four stars at the time of its release by Billboard it has come to be recognised as one of the jewels of both Dexter Gordon’s and the tenor saxophone canon.