||Dexter Gordon was one of the best-loved, longest surviving--and tallest--members of the bebop generation until his death in 1990. Born in Los Angeles, California, Gordon studied the saxophone from an early age, joined Lionel Hampton's big band at the age of 17, and performed with jazz greats from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker. He was chiefly influenced by Parker, as well as by Illinois Jacquet and Lester Young, but his sensitive, introspective style of playing eschewed flashy technique in favor of emotional depth. In common with other jazzmen of his generation, he moved to Europe in the 1960s, returning to the US to popular acclaim in 1976, and received an Oscar nomination for his performance in Bertrand Tavernier's atmospheric jazz movie 'ROUND MIDNIGHT. Stan Britt's well-researched and perceptive biography details the acclaimed saxophonist's career, analyzing Gordon's technique and his place in jazz history, with special reference to the latter-day resurgence of interest in his music.
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||Described by Leonard Feather as "one of the most influential saxophonists of the bop era," Dexter Gordon has been a recognized master for over four decades. This new biography traces his career from his early stints with Lionel Hampton and Louis Armstrong, through his time with the bop big band of Billy Eckstine and his sparring partnership with fellow tenor-player Wardell Gray in Los Angeles, to his self-exile in Denmark, and his triumphant return to New York in 1976, an event that decisively shaped the still strong bebop revival. Stan Britt devotes chapters to Gordon's acclaimed performance in the movie 'Round Midnight, for which he received an Academy Award nomination, along with extended discussions of his recording legacy and an analysis of his unmistakable tenor sound and style. With a notated discography and a keen appreciation of Dexter's warm, ironic personality, this biography adds another dimension to our understanding of one of the coolest—and tallest—figures of jazz.