Sax Gordon,
You Knock Me Out
(Bullseye Blues & Jazz, 2000)

You Knock Me Out by Sax Gordon is a great CD. The music grabs you right from the first note and doesn't let you go til the end.

On tenor sax we have none other than Sax Gordon Beadle. (He also sings now and then.) Joining him are Doug James on the baritone sax, Duke Robillard on the guitar, Matt McCabe on the piano, Matt Ballou on bass and Marty Richards on the drums. Also playing are Tom West (organ on "90 MPH," "BY-YA" and "Tino's Dream"), Scott Aruda (trumpet on "Lonely for You"), Tino Barker (tenor sax on "Mishnock Rock" and "Lonely for You") and Gordon, Duke and Sugar Ray Norcia (vocals on "You knock Me Out").

This CD is big on heart. You get a group of skilled musicians playing together, and you can get some pretty fine music. This is certainly the case on every track on this CD by Sax Gordon. There is not a lot to be said about the lyrics on this CD. For the most part, there aren't any. So I guess I will have to describe the varying sounds that these musicians create.

"90 MPH" starts the CD off flying. Not sure how they pull it off, but the organ keeps up. So much for it being a slow stately instrument. The lyrics, well they are there and fit and come out mighty fine, but with music this good, you don't need lyrics.

"Mishnock Rock" keeps the tempo going, and it only slows down for "Lonely for You." You then get hit by "You Knock Me Out," which blares right at you, belted out chorus and all. This is followed up by "Speed Rack." Skip forward a bit, and you walk into "That Little Town Rocks," a delightful song with spoken lyrics.

The tempo slows down and bit and the sound twists sideways to wrap itself around you for "Tino's Dream," a smooth flowing piece that would surely make a good dream. "Big Mouth" has a nice wide sound, and "Bug Hunt" is a fun uptempo lyricless song.

Sax Gordon's spoken intro over the piano could almost be considered part of "Twenty Dollar Gig." There's a quick three count before the song takes off with the pure energy of a kid who just got his/her first gig.

The CD then closes off with "Crawling Home," a sweet sounding, slower song where the instruments sing.

This is certainly a CD to pick up and listen to, just don't expect to sit back and relax. The music will want to pick you up and take you for a ride, that is sometimes wild, but always worth the trip.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]

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