Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Knock Three Times

Dexter Gordon, One Flight Up. Only four songs on this album, but I really dig it. I liked it from the first listen. There's something very haunting about there's a story there that's trying to get out. Some kind of sad relationship between the man who lives downstairs and the woman he loves upstairs who has no idea that one flight down a man is wasting away longing for her. All of this while the grey of day never makes it to night. "Tanya," the man repeats to himself until the name becomes known, and he becomes entranced in a spiraling effort to connect. 18 minutes long and the song and the name never drawn out or tiresome. Piano, trumpet, sax all spelling out the weight of 13 stairs, a landing and 13 more stairs, a left and 26 steps down the hallway to the left. Knock three times with the left hand and hide. He vanishes to watch for her face to peek around the door and listen to her voice say "Hello?" So much to do in 18 minutes. Oh, and there's a wonderful bass that holds the beat steady so that the man's dream is not forgotten. Only 18 minutes to live out this cold, grey fantasy. There could be wind and leaves rustling by under trees that are resolved for winter. Footsteps along the sidewalks sound half-hearted, mere attempts at completing what is expected of them.