Dexter Gordon

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Date of Birth February 27, 1923
Place of Birth Los Angeles, California
Date of Death Apr 25, 1990 (67)
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Dexter Gordon

Dexter Gordon was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He was among the most influential early bebop musicians, which included other greats such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell. Gordon's height was 6 feet 6 inches, so he was also known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant". His studio and performance career spanned over 40 years. Gordon's sound was commonly characterized as being "large" and spacious and he had a tendency to play behind the beat. He was known for inserting musical quotes into his solos, with sources as diverse as "Happy Birthday" and well known melodies from the operas of Wagner. This is not unusual in jazz improvisation, but Gordon did it frequently enough to make it a hallmark of his style. One of his major influences was Lester Young. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Rollins and Coltrane then influenced Gordon's playing as he explored hard bop and modal playing during the 1960s.

Also known as: Long Tall Dexter
Born: February 27, 1923, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: April 25, 1990, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres: Jazz, swing, bebop, hard bop
Occupation(s): Musician, composer, bandleader, actor
Instruments: Tenor saxophone, Soprano saxophone
Years active: 1940–1986
Labels: Blue Note, Savoy, Columbia
Associated acts: Gene Ammons, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Wardell Gray, Lionel Hampton
Twitter: Dexter Gordon's Twitter profile
IMDb: Dexter Gordon's IMDb

About Dexter Gordon

Influential jazz saxophonist who played with Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillepsie, influencing a generation of jazz musicians.

Dexter Gordon Before Fame

He picked up the clarinet at age thirteen and, soon after, he began performing with other talented young musicians, including Charles Mingus and Buddy Collette.

Achievement of Dexter Gordon

After touring with the Lionel Hampton Band, he joined the innovative Billy Eckstine Orchestra with Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan.

Dexter Gordon Family Life

He grew up in Los Angeles where his father was a doctor who tended to Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton, among others.

Associations of Dexter Gordon

John Coltrane was inspired by the Gordon's bebop sound.

Information related to Dexter Gordon

  • Xanadu Records artists
  • American expatriates in Denmark
  • Swing saxophonists
  • Bebop saxophonists
  • Hard bop saxophonists
  • SteepleChase Records artists
  • American jazz tenor saxophonists
  • Savoy Records artists
  • 20th-century jazz composers
  • Blue Note Records artists
  • African-American jazz musicians
  • Jazz musicians from California
  • David di Donatello winners
  • American jazz composers
  • American expatriates in France
  • 20th-century saxophonists
Latest information about Dexter Gordon updated on April 12, 2021.

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