December 29, 2008 – 4:23 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

With Dexter Gordon and Friends
Jazz Alive New Year’s Eve Special 1980 [no label, 3CD]

Live at the Keystone Korner, San Francisco, December 31, 1980. Very good NPR broadcast.

In the ’60s, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner played host to acts such as Mike Bloomfield, Boz Scaggs, Elvin Bishop, Tom Fogerty and Jerry Garcia. In 1972, the club was sold and became a hit jazz spot.

To welcome in 1981, saxophonist Dexter Gordon and a host of jazz luminaries - including trumpeter Woody Shaw, saxophonist Sonny Stitt, guitarist Kenny Burrell and drummer Billy Higgins - were on hand to provide the evening’s entertainment.

The new year would see Ronald Reagan becoming the 40th president of the United States; the lifting of martial law in the Philippines; the first recognised cases of AIDS being reported; Lady Diana marrying Prince Charles; the launching of MTV and the formation of Metallica. [Dexter Gordon was Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich’s godfather.] It would be another six years before Gordon found worldwide fame through the movie, ‘Round Midnight.

But for the performers and the audience at the Keystone Korner, these events were still far away but what’s present was an evening of beautiful jazz. If jazz can lighten up the spirit; ease the heavy heart and help you leave your cares at the door; then this is it. For about three hours, Dexter Gordon and friends provide some good time jazz that can only leave the listener in a celebratory mood.

Thanks to davidraphael for sharing this cool and swinging show on the Dime site to welcome 2009 (or to say goodbye to the old one). As David says: “I’ve always loved this fantastic concert. Great Sound. It always puts me in a festive mood and has a really nice atmosphere. At midnight the audience and musicians all sing Auld Lang Syne. It’s a shame that the last track is cut a little at the end. If anyone has a complete version, please post!”

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

Disc 1 (59:26)
Track 101. Intro (0:34)
Track 102. The Common Ground (KB/BW/BH) (9:23)
Track 103. I Can’t Get Started (add SS & CW) (10:04)
Track 104. Uptempo Blues (same) (9:57)
Track 105. Walton Waltz (CW/BW/BH) (14:13)
Track 106. On the Trail (DG/KB/CW/BW/BH) (15:15)

Disc 2 (58:42)
Track 201. Auld Lang Syne (add SS, EA) - Announcements (11:15)
Track 202. Cheesecake (DGQ) (14:18)
Track 203. Body And Soul (DGQ) (18:27)
Track 204. Fried Bananas (add WS) (14:42)

Disc 3 (63:28)
Track 301. Tanya (DGQ & WS) (24:50)
Track 302. Polka Dots And Moonbeams (same) (17:45)
Track 303. Blues Up And Down (DGQ & SS) (15:06)
Track 304. Round Midnight (DGQ & EA - cut)

Dexter Gordon Quartet:
Dexter Gordon - tenor sax
Kirk Lightsey - piano
David Eubanks - bass
Eddie Gladden - drums

Woody Shaw - trumpet
Sonny Stitt - tenor sax
Kenny Burrell - guitar
Cedar Walton - piano
Buster Williams - bass
Billy Higgins - drums
Ernie Andrews - vocal

Click on the link to order Dexter Gordon albums.


  2. Many thanks for posting this one up,as this guys were all at the peak of their powers at this time.I was fortunate to see Dexter live a couple of times around this time frame.Some of the most intense musical experiences of my life

    Cedar Walton is also on fire on this sessions.

    By Luis Torregrosa on Jan 15, 2009

  3. This concert was made after Dexter came back from
    Europe where he spended some years.On this record
    is a wonderful complet session with great musicians,great music and a very good sound.
    Thanks and all the best for the new year.

    By Catman on Jan 5, 2010

  4. ..This looks like a FANTASTIC show by the great Dexter, unfortunately I missed this one..Any chance of a re-post?..Much appreciated, keep up the GREAT BLOG! Beega

    By Beega on Sep 3, 2011

  5. It´s possible to download this concert again?

    By JazzC on Nov 23, 2018

  6. It´possible to reupload again?. Thanks

    By JazzC on Oct 2, 2020

  7. No it isn’t jazzc. Go away!

    By Big One on Oct 2, 2020

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