Sax Gordon
"Have Horn Will Travel" CD Review
Bullseye Blues & Jazz CD BB 9589, 13 tracks, 57 minutes
by Ann Wickstrom

On the title track of this album we hear "Sax" Gordon Beadle declare, in spoken verse, "We ain't in it for the money; it's the fun and the money!" Is he sincere? You better believe it. Thirty-two-year-old Beadle wrote nearly half of the tunes on his debut solo release and did a terrific job of hand-picking the rest from the annals of American big band jazz. He has spent the last several years playing with Duke Robillard, who in tune plays guitar on this album and takes production credit. The band also features Robillard's bass player, Marty Ballou; Poky Cohen on trombone; and the Roomful of Blues Horns.

This CD was cut live, giving it a distinctly "real" feeling. Tom West brings nice, full chords to "Melancholy Serenade" during the B-3 solo (yup, the old theme song from the Jackie Gleason Show, co-written by Gleason). "DD Rider" is Beadle's take on CC Rider; it's funky, bluesy, and really makes you want to shake your tail feathers. Marty Richards contributes great jungle drum sounds to "Hubcap Pete". Duke and Gordon kick off Bill Doggett's "Squashy" with a smooth, silky call and response and then take turns laying down great solos. On "But Officer", we hear a gruff vocal intro from Eric "Two Scoops" Moore, saying, "Hey you, with the long hair, the bebop glasses and the saxaphone case - get over here!" It really exemplifies the whole "fun" concept of this album. The entire band kicks up a swinging sensation on the driving, determined "Hallelujah", and the CD closes with the traditional "Deep River", featuring Gordon's raspy yet rich tone, accompanied only by Ballou on acoustic bass.

The fact that Duke Robillard enlisted Beadle for his own band and has now produced and played on his solo release tells you what the future will likely hold for this relatively young man. "Have Horn Will Travel" should give you a clue as well.

This review is copyright © 1998 by Ann Wickstrom, all rights reserved.

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