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Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon by Maxine Gordon (University of California Press)

Do you remember your first Dexter Gordon moment? Did his bold, brash, relentlessly swinging playing grab you by the ears and refuse to let go? That jubilant tenor saxophone sound is Gordon’s most obvious legacy. However, in this new biography by his widow Maxine, we find that there’s much more to know and appreciate about … Read MoreSophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon by Maxine Gordon (University of California Press)”

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Dexter Gordon Quartet: Tokyo 1975 (Elemental), Woody Shaw: Tokyo ’81 (Elemental)

How ironic that concert performance, once the definition of musical ephemerality, has become the richest vein to mine for vintage jazz gold. Working with producer Michael Cuscuna, Elemental has unearthed a cannily matched pair of albums recorded (mostly) in Japan that offer fresh sounds from two musically related giants. Dexter Gordon’s Tokyo 1975 catches the … Read More “Dexter Gordon Quartet: Tokyo 1975 (Elemental), Woody Shaw: Tokyo ’81 (Elemental)”

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Dexter Gordon: Satin Doll

When 45-year-old previously unreleased jazz appears, there is always a story. But Mark Gardner’s gushy liner notes here do a poor job of telling it. You have to do your own research into Dexter Gordon’s biography and discography to piece together the narrative behind Satin Doll. Gordon, one of the first bop tenor saxophonists, lived … Read More “Dexter Gordon: Satin Doll”

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