Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Dexter Gordon, ‘Night Ballads, Montreal, 1977’

The storehouse of unreleased jazz concert recordings seemingly goes on forever. The “new” one from Dexter Gordon is a masterpiece. “Night Ballads, Montreal, 1977,” culled from four nights at The Rising Sun, showcases the tenor saxophonist’s prowess on slow numbers. Gordon's quartet — with pianist George Cables, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Eddie Gladden — uses four standards (“Lover Man,” “You’ve Changed,” “Old Folks,” and “Polka Dots and Moonbeams”) as vehicles for improvisation. Each tune runs 16 to 20 minutes, yet none flags or meanders. Gordon’s breathy, sonorous style is in full blossom, and the crowd appreciates it. “All right!” someone shouts as Gordon begins the theme of “Lover Man.” As the minutes wind on in each tune, he veers farther from the melody, and he sprinkles in quotes from other tunes (I swear I hear a snippet of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” in “Lover Man”). Just as impressive are Cables’s unhinged, unaccompanied solos. The fifth member of this quartet is the audience. You feel as though you’re in a jazz club. (Out now) STEVE GREENLEE

ESSENTIAL “Lover Man”

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com