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The Panther

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The Panther album cover
The Panther
Body And Soul
Valse Robin
Mrs. Miniver
The Christmas Song
The Blues Walk
Album Information

Total Tracks: 6   Total Length: 43:48

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A silence Panther?


Following the modest success of Dexter Gordon in the 70's, it is a generally thought that one of the panther's most effective characteristics is its silence, which makes the exclamation mark sligthly redunant, by just using fewer notes and a greater dynamic range. Highly

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Dexter's best B&S


By 1980, Long Tall had done Body and Soul so many times that it was becoming a "set piece"--formulaic, predictable, even to the dynamic, emotive levels. I've heard at least 6 versions by him, and the one on "The Panther" is the freshest and most inspired. Credit Dexter's still-strong breath support and the comparative freshness of the song itself for him, but also give a lion's share to Tommy Flanagan, who performs miraculously on this date. Not even Van Gelder's homogenizing of the piano can disguise or depersonalize Tommy's touch. After, and maybe even before the version by Coleman Hawkins, this is the one to get.

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classic dexter in the 70s. a great record. also, alan dawson!

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I second that!


Well put. This one is just right. A great one!

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as the title of this recording says, it's exactly a panther on the tenor; robust and energizing tone, perfet and full diction... a masterclass of groovy, standar tenor sax.. a MUST hear..

They Say All Music Guide

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax) entered the 1970s — as well as his career’s quarter-century mark — on a definite upstroke with the sly, sexy — and above else — stylish platter The Panther! (1970). Gordon commands a quartet whose membership boasts luminaries Tommy Flanagan (piano), Larry Ridley (bass), and Alan Dawson (drums). Remarkably — or perhaps simply a testament to Gordon and company’s prowess — the album’s half-dozen sides all hail from a single early July 1970 get-together. The material is divided between outstanding interpretations of the Great American Songbook classic “Body and Soul,” the Mel Tormé co-penned seasonal standard “The Christmas Song” aka “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” Clifford Brown’s “Blues Walk,” and a trio of Gordon originals. The project gets underway on the exceptional title track “The Panther.” The loose and syncopated midtempo groove provides a decorous yet jaunty backdrop for the tenor to mold his soulful trademark leads.Flanagan counters with his own spirited rounds behind Ridley and Dawson’s mesmerizing rhythm. Comparably sublime — and the unquestionable highlight of the entire outing — is the cordially emotive “Body and Soul.” Gordon oozes a sensuality that is aimed straight for the heart as he manipulates the melody into a singular inspiration. As before, Flanagan’s light mellifluous touch is sublime in this context. “Valse Robin” is a playful waltz that is dedicated to Gordon’s daughter under a warm, almost assuaging timbre. By contrast, Gordon’s “Mrs. Miniver” is extroverted, bearing a refined swinging beat with both the tenor and the pianist rising to the occasion. Not to be missed is the cozy intimacy of “The Christmas Song” as his horn unfurls an affection that has rarely been equaled. The Panther! concludes with a frisky reading of “Blues Walk” that — in deference to the name — trots along at a brisk pace. The bandleader takes full advantage as he lets loose with a flurry of activity propelled by his hearty and vigorous command of the combo. Nowhere can that be experienced more aptly than when Gordon, Ridley, and Dawson go full steam and head-to-head as Flanagan briefly relinquishes the reigns. Those who are interested in hearing alternates of “The Panther,” “Valse Robin,” “Mrs. Miniver,” and “Blues Walk” from the same mammoth session are encouraged to check out Gordon’s 11-CD Complete Prestige Recordings (2004) box set — containing a total of 17 previously unreleased cuts among its total of 88. – Lindsay Planer

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