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Dexter Gordon, Long Tall Dexter

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Album Review

In the mid- to late '40s, there were three great young tenor saxophonists: Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, and Teddy Edwards. Of the trio, Dexter Gordon had the greatest influence on upcoming players and was the most bop-oriented. This superb two-LP set contains all 17 selections Gordon cut for Savoy during 1945-1947 plus eight alternate takes and a jam session performance (with trumpeter Howard McGhee and altoist Sonny Criss) titled "After Hours Bop." Gordon is heard in a quartet, with several quintets (featuring such major players as pianist Bud Powell, drummers Max Roach and Art Blakey, baritonist Leo Parker, and trumpeter Fats Navarro) and in a septet with trumpeter Joe Newman and trombonist J.J. Johnson. Throughout, Gordon holds his own with the slightly older players and gets his career off to a brilliant start.


Born: 27 February 1923 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Dexter Gordon had such a colorful and eventful life (with three separate comebacks) that his story would make a great Hollywood movie. The top tenor saxophonist to emerge during the bop era and possessor of his own distinctive sound, Gordon sometimes was long-winded and quoted excessively from other songs, but he created a large body of superior work and could battle nearly anyone successfully at a jam session. His first important gig was with Lionel Hampton (1940-1943) although, due to Illinois...
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