Dexter Gordon

Dexter Gordon

Overview
Dexter Gordon was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 tenor saxophonist and an Academy Award-nominated actor (Round Midnight
Round Midnight (film)
Round Midnight is a 1986 film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and written by David Rayfiel and Bertrand Tavernier. It tells the story of an African American tenor saxophone player in Paris in the 1950s who is befriended by an unsuccessful French graphic designer who idolizes the musician and who...

, Warner Bros, 1986). He is regarded as one of the first and most important musicians to adapt the bebop
Bebop
Bebop differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era, and was instead characterized by fast tempos, asymmetrical phrasing, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that expanded on their role as tempo-keepers...

 musical language of people like Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charles Parker, Jr. , famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer....

, Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

, and Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk...

 to the tenor saxophone. His studio and live performance career were both extensive and multifaceted, spanning over 50 years in recorded jazz history.

Gordon's height was 6 in 6 in (198.12 cm), and so consequently he was also known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant." He played a Conn 10M 'Ladyface' tenor until it was stolen in a Paris airport in 1961.
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Encyclopedia
Dexter Gordon was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 tenor saxophonist and an Academy Award-nominated actor (Round Midnight
Round Midnight (film)
Round Midnight is a 1986 film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and written by David Rayfiel and Bertrand Tavernier. It tells the story of an African American tenor saxophone player in Paris in the 1950s who is befriended by an unsuccessful French graphic designer who idolizes the musician and who...

, Warner Bros, 1986). He is regarded as one of the first and most important musicians to adapt the bebop
Bebop
Bebop differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era, and was instead characterized by fast tempos, asymmetrical phrasing, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that expanded on their role as tempo-keepers...

 musical language of people like Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charles Parker, Jr. , famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer....

, Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

, and Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk...

 to the tenor saxophone. His studio and live performance career were both extensive and multifaceted, spanning over 50 years in recorded jazz history.

Gordon's height was 6 in 6 in (198.12 cm), and so consequently he was also known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant." He played a Conn 10M 'Ladyface' tenor until it was stolen in a Paris airport in 1961. He then switched over to a Selmer Mark VI
Selmer Mark VI
The Selmer Mark VI is a professional model saxophone that is generally considered the Selmer Company's finest saxophone. Although tastes in saxophones differ the Mk VI design is universally regarded as one of the best saxophone models ever produced by any manufacturer...

. His saxophone was fitted with an Otto Link metal mouthpiece, which can be seen in various photos. Gordon died on April 25, 1990 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Early life


Gordon was born and grew up in Los Angeles, where his father was a doctor who counted Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton among his patients. He played clarinet from the age of 13, before switching to saxophone (initially alto, then tenor) at 15. While still at school, he was playing in bands
with such contemporaries as Chico Hamilton
Chico Hamilton
Chico Hamilton , is an American jazz drummer and bandleader.-Early life through 1960s:Hamilton was born in Los Angeles, California. He had a fast-track musical education in a band with Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso...

 and Buddy Collette
Buddy Collette
William Marcel "Buddy" Collette was an American tenor saxophonist, flautist, and clarinetist. He was highly influential in the West coast jazz and West Coast blues mediums, also collaborating with saxophonist Dexter Gordon, drummer Chico Hamilton, and his lifelong friend, bassist Charles...

.

Between 1940 and 1943, Gordon was a member of Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Like Red Norvo, he was one of the first jazz vibraphone players. Hampton ranks among the great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy...

's band, playing in a saxophone section alongside Illinois Jacquet
Illinois Jacquet
Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, best remembered for his solo on "Flying Home", critically recognized as the first R&B saxophone solo....

 and Marshall Royal
Marshall Royal
Marshall Royal was an American clarinettist and alto saxophonist best known for his work with Count Basie, with whose band he played for nearly twenty years....

. In 1943 he made his first recordings under his own name, alongside Nat Cole and Harry Edison. During 1943-44 he featured in the Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

 and Fletcher Henderson
Fletcher Henderson
James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. His was one of the most prolific black orchestras and his influence was vast...

 bands, before joining Billy Eckstine
Billy Eckstine
William Clarence Eckstine was an American singer of ballads and a bandleader of the swing era. Eckstine's smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big-band, then as the first romantic black male in popular...

.

By 1945, Gordon had left the Eckstine band and was resident in New York, where he was performing and recording with Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charles Parker, Jr. , famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer....

, as well as recording under his own name. Gordon was a virtuoso particularly famous for his titanic saxophone duels with fellow tenorman Wardell Gray
Wardell Gray
Wardell Gray was an American jazz tenor saxophonist who straddled the swing and bebop periods.Today often overlooked, Gray's playing displays a unique style, an unmatched tone and a strong presence.-Early years:...

, that were a popular live attraction and that were documented in several albums between 1947 and 1952.

Many would characterize Gordon's sound as being 'large' and spacious and his tendency to play behind the beat is discernible. One of his major influences was Lester Young
Lester Young
Lester Willis Young , nicknamed "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He also played trumpet, violin, and drums....

. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John William Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz...

 during the 1940s and 1950s. Coltrane's playing, however, during his early period from the mid to late '50s or early '60s influenced Gordon's playing from then onward. Similarities in their styles include their clear, strong, metallic tones, their tendencies to bend up to high notes, and their abilities to single-tongue and still swing. One of Gordon's idiosyncrasies was to recite the lyrics of each ballad before playing it.

Blue Note recordings



Gordon was a saxophonist for the L.A. production of the Jack Gelber play The Connection
The Connection (1959 play)
The Connection is a 1959 play by Jack Gelber. It was first produced by the Living Theatre, directed by Living Theatre co-founder Judith Malina, and designed by co-founder Julian Beck...

in 1960, replacing Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
John Lenwood McLean was an American jazz alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator, born in New York City.-Biography:McLean's father, John Sr., played guitar in Tiny Bradshaw's orchestra...

 who performed and recorded the Freddie Redd score in New York City. By this time he had begun recording for Blue Note Records
Blue Note Records
Blue Note Records is a jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues. At the end of the 1950s, and in the early 1960s, Blue Note headquarters...

 a collaboration that was to produce some of his most highly-regarded work on the albums Doin' Alright, Dexter Calling..., Go
Go (Dexter Gordon album)
-Personnel:*Dexter Gordon – tenor saxophone*Sonny Clark – piano*Butch Warren – bass*Billy Higgins – drums...

, and A Swingin' Affair. The first two, his Blue Note debuts, were recorded over three days in May 1961 with Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 1960s and on...

, Horace Parlan
Horace Parlan
Horace Parlan is an American hard bop and post-bop piano player.He is noted for his contributions to the classic Charles Mingus recordings Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots....

 and others. The last two were recorded in August 1962 just before Gordon left for his extended stay in Europe. On these albums the rhythm section was Blue Note staples Sonny Clark
Sonny Clark
Conrad Yeatis "Sonny" Clark was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom.-Biography:...

, Butch Warren
Butch Warren
Edward "Butch" Warren is an American jazz double bassist who plays in the hard bop genre. He was especially active in the late-50s and the 1960s.-Biography:...

 and Billy Higgins
Billy Higgins
Billy Higgins was an American jazz drummer. He played mainly free jazz and hard bop.Higgins was born in Los Angeles, California. Higgins played on Ornette Coleman's first records, beginning in 1958...

.

Years in Europe


After that, he spent 15 years in Europe, mostly in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, where he played regularly with fellow expatriate jazzmen such as Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk...

, Ben Webster
Ben Webster
Benjamin Francis Webster , a.k.a. "The Brute" or "Frog," was an influential American jazz tenor saxophonist. Webster, born in Kansas City, Missouri, was considered one of the three most important "swing tenors" along with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young...

, Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 1960s and on...

, Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson is a jazz vibraphone and marimba player. His vibraphone playing is suggestive of the style of Milt Jackson in its free-flowing melodicism, but his sense of harmony and group interaction is thoroughly modern...

, Kenny Drew
Kenny Drew
Kenneth Sidney "Kenny" Drew was an American jazz pianist.-Biography:Born in New York City, New York, he first recorded with Howard McGhee in 1949, and over the next two years recorded with Buddy DeFranco, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Buddy Rich, and Dinah Washington...

, Horace Parlan
Horace Parlan
Horace Parlan is an American hard bop and post-bop piano player.He is noted for his contributions to the classic Charles Mingus recordings Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots....

 and Billy Higgins
Billy Higgins
Billy Higgins was an American jazz drummer. He played mainly free jazz and hard bop.Higgins was born in Los Angeles, California. Higgins played on Ornette Coleman's first records, beginning in 1958...

. Gordon also visited the States occasionally for further recording dates with Blue Note Records
Blue Note Records
Blue Note Records is a jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues. At the end of the 1950s, and in the early 1960s, Blue Note headquarters...

. From this period Our Man in Paris
Our Man in Paris
Our Man in Paris is a 1963 jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon. The album's title refers to where the recording was made, Gordon teaming up with fellow expatriates Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke, both Parisian residents, and native Parisian Pierre Michelot...

, One Flight Up, and Gettin' Around are regarded as among his finest sessions. Our Man in Paris
Our Man in Paris
Our Man in Paris is a 1963 jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon. The album's title refers to where the recording was made, Gordon teaming up with fellow expatriates Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke, both Parisian residents, and native Parisian Pierre Michelot...

was a Blue Note session recorded in Paris, France in 1963 with a quartet including pianist Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk...

, drummer Kenny Clarke
Kenny Clarke
Kenny Clarke , born Kenneth Spearman Clarke, nicknamed "Klook" and later known as Liaqat Ali Salaam, was a jazz drummer and an early innovator of the bebop style of drumming...

, and French bassist Pierre Michelot
Pierre Michelot
Pierre Michelot was a French bebop and hard bop double bass player.Born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, Michelot studied piano from 1936 until 1938, but switched to playing bass at the age of sixteen...

. One Flight Up features an extended solo by Gordon on the track "Tanya" recorded in Paris in 1964 with trumpeter Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, is an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd is best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a...

, while Gettin' Around was recorded during a visit back to the US in May 1965, as was the unreleased album Clubhouse.

Less well-known, but of similar quality, are the albums he recorded during the same period for the Danish label SteepleChase
Steeplechase
Steeplechase may refer to:* Steeplechase, an event in horse racing* SteepleChase, a Danish jazz label* Steeplechase , a 1975 arcade game released by Atari...

 (Something Different99, Bouncin' With Dex, and a few dozen others). They feature American sidemen but also such Europeans as Spanish pianist Tete Montoliu
Tete Montoliu
Tete Montoliu was a jazz pianist from Catalonia, Spain. His real name was Vicenç Montoliu i Massana.- Biography :He was born blind, in the Eixample district of Barcelona, and died in the same city....

 and Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
- Discography :* My Name Is Albert Ayler 1963 * Kirk in Copenhagen 1963 * Ben Webster in Denmark 1965-1971 Live at Danish Radio studios, Jazzhus Montmartre and Odd Fellow Palæet - Universal Music Denmark*One Flight Up 1964 *Sunday Walk 1969 - Discography :* My Name Is Albert Ayler 1963 (with...

.

Gordon found Europe in the 1960s a much easier place to live, saying that he experienced less racism and greater respect for jazz musicians. Furthermore in America he had experienced drug addiction and imprisonment (twice), and must have found the change of location helpful. While in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Dexter Gordon and Kenny Drew
Kenny Drew
Kenneth Sidney "Kenny" Drew was an American jazz pianist.-Biography:Born in New York City, New York, he first recorded with Howard McGhee in 1949, and over the next two years recorded with Buddy DeFranco, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Buddy Rich, and Dinah Washington...

's trio appeared onscreen in Ole Ege's theatrically released hardcore pornographic film Pornografi (1971), for which they composed and performed the score.

From 1965-1973 he switched from Blue Note to Prestige Records
Prestige Records
Prestige Records was a jazz record label founded in 1949 by Bob Weinstock. The company was located at 203 South Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, New Jersey, and recorded hundreds of albums by many of the leading jazz musicians of the day, sometimes issuing them under the names of several...

 but stayed very much on the hard-bop track; while the rest of the jazz-world was getting funky, Gordon was making classic bop albums like 1972's Tangerine with Thad Jones
Thad Jones
Thaddeus Joseph Jones was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader.-Biography:Thad Jones was born in Pontiac, Michigan to a musical family of ten . Thad Jones was a self taught musician, performing professionally by the age of sixteen...

, Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 1960s and on...

, and Hank Jones
Hank Jones
Henry "Hank" Jones was an American jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. Critics and musicians described Jones as eloquent, lyrical, and impeccable. In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award...

. Some of the Prestige albums were recorded during visits back to North America while he was still living in Europe. Others were made in Europe, including live sets from the Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux Jazz Festival
The Montreux Jazz Festival is the best-known music festival in Switzerland and one of the most prestigious in Europe; it is held annually in early July in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva...

. The American recordings included The Chase, a tenor battle with Gene Ammons
Gene Ammons
Eugene "Jug" Ammons also known as "The Boss," was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, and the son of boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons.-Biography:...

 cut in Chicago in 1970.

Homecoming



Gordon finally returned to the United States for good in 1976. He appeared at the Village Vanguard
Village Vanguard
The Village Vanguard is a jazz club located at in Greenwich Village, New York City. The club was opened on February 22, 1935, by Max Gordon. At first, it also featured other forms of music such as folk music and beat poetry, but it switched to an all-jazz format in 1957.-History:Over 100 jazz...

, NY, for a gig that was dubbed as his 'homecoming;' and was recorded and released under that title. He noted "There was so much love and elation; sometimes it was a little eerie at the Vanguard. After the last set they'd turn on the lights and nobody would move".

After this appearance, Gordon recorded several more albums that proved he was as good if not better than before his years in Europe, and he finally gained appreciation as one of the great jazz tenors. The increased attention that he received because of Columbia Records
Columbia Records
Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

 promotions has been seen as a turning point in jazz because they focused on acoustic jazz rather than the commercial cross-over styles which had been heavily promoted during the first part of the 1970s.

Gordon made several notable film appearances. The first occurred, oddly enough, while he was in prison for possession of heroin. He portrayed an inmate playing in the prison band in Unchained
Unchained (film)
Unchained is a 1955 prison film based on the non-fiction book Prisoners are People by Kenyon J. Scudder. The film is most remembered for its theme song, "Unchained Melody", which was a #1 R&B hit for both Al Hibbler & Roy Hamilton in 1955, with Hibbler's version also reaching #3 on the Billboard...

, though the soundtrack was later overdubbed. In 1986, Gordon starred in the movie Round Midnight
Round Midnight (film)
Round Midnight is a 1986 film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and written by David Rayfiel and Bertrand Tavernier. It tells the story of an African American tenor saxophone player in Paris in the 1950s who is befriended by an unsuccessful French graphic designer who idolizes the musician and who...

as 'Dale Turner', an expatriate jazz musician much like himself; the role might even be a thinly veiled biography
Biography
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...

 of him, though Lester Young
Lester Young
Lester Willis Young , nicknamed "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He also played trumpet, violin, and drums....

 and Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk...

 were its main inspirations. Gordon received a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 for his portrayal. In addition, he had a non-speaking role in the film Awakenings
Awakenings
Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks's 1973 memoir Awakenings. It tells the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm Sayer and portrayed by Robin Williams who, in 1969, discovers beneficial effects of the then-new drug L-Dopa...

, which was released after his death. Between these two roles, Gordon made a guest appearance on the Michael Mann series Crime Story
Crime Story (TV series)
Crime Story is an NBC TV drama created by Gustave Reininger and Chuck Adamson. The executive producer was Michael Mann, who had left Miami Vice to oversee Crime Story and direct the film Manhunter. The show premiered with a two hour pilot — a movie which had been exhibited theatrically —...

.

Gordon died of kidney failure in Philadelphia, PA on April 25, 1990, at age 67. He was voted musician of the year by Down Beat
Down Beat
Down Beat is an American magazine devoted to "jazz, blues and beyond" to indicate its expansion beyond the jazz realm which it covered exclusively in previous years. The publication was established in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois...

magazine in 1978 and 1980, and in the latter year was inducted into Down Beat's Jazz Hall of Fame
Jazz hall of fame
The term Jazz hall of fame can refer to the following institutions:* Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame * The Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame , a defunct annual recognition by a non-profit organization based in North San Diego County, California...

.

Family


Gordon's maternal grandfather was Captain Edward L. Baker, one of the five Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...

 winners (9th Cav.) in the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 and served in the 9th and 10th Cavalries - in the group known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

Gordon's father, Dr. Frank Gordon, M.D., was one of the first prominent African-American physicians and a graduate of Howard University
Howard University
Howard University is a federally chartered, non-profit, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university located in Washington, D.C., United States...

.

Dexter Gordon had a total of six children, from the oldest to the youngest: Robin Gordon (Los Angeles, CA), James Canales Gordon (Oakland, CA), Deidre (Dee Dee) Gordon (Los Angeles, CA), Mikael Gordon-Solfors (Stockholm, Sweden), Morten Gordon (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Benjamin Dexter Gordon (Copenhagen, Denmark), and five grandchildren, Raina Moore (Brooklyn, NY), Jared Johnson (Los Angeles, CA), and Matthew Johnson (Los Angeles, CA) Maya Canales (Oakland, CA), Jared Canales (Oakland, CA)

When he lived in Denmark, he became friends with the family of the future Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

 drummer Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer, and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica. He was born in Gentofte, Denmark to an upper-middle class family. A tennis player in his youth, Ulrich moved to Los Angeles, California at age sixteen to pursue his training; though rather...

, and subsequently became Lars' godfather.

Gordon is also survived by his widow and former manager-producer Maxine Gordon.

Discography

  • Dexter Rides Again
    Dexter Rides Again
    Dexter Rides Again is a 1947 jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon.-Track listing:Except where otherwise noted, all songs composed by Dexter Gordon.#"Dexter's Riff" – 2:43#"Settin' the Pace, Parts 1 & 2" – 5:52#"So Easy" – 3:38...

    (1945)
  • The Hunt
    The Hunt (Dexter Gordon album)
    The Hunt is a 1947 jazz album by saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray. It is referenced in the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac.-Track listing:#"Disorder At The Border"   #"Cherokee"   #"Byas-A-Drink"  ...

    w Wardell Gray
    Wardell Gray
    Wardell Gray was an American jazz tenor saxophonist who straddled the swing and bebop periods.Today often overlooked, Gray's playing displays a unique style, an unmatched tone and a strong presence.-Early years:...

     (1947)
  • The Chase w Wardell Gray
    Wardell Gray
    Wardell Gray was an American jazz tenor saxophonist who straddled the swing and bebop periods.Today often overlooked, Gray's playing displays a unique style, an unmatched tone and a strong presence.-Early years:...

     (1947)
  • The Duel
    The Duel (album)
    The Duel is a 1947 jazz album by saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Teddy Edwards.-Personnel:*Dexter Gordon – tenor saxophone*Teddy Edwards – tenor saxophone*Jimmy Rowles - piano*Red Callender - bass*Roy Porter - drums...

    w Teddy Edwards
    Teddy Edwards
    Theodore Marcus "Teddy" Edwards was an American jazz tenor saxophonist based on the West Coast of the US. Some consider him to be one of the most influential jazz saxophonists.-Biography:...

     (1947)
  • Daddy Plays the Horn
    Daddy Plays the Horn
    Daddy Plays the Horn is a 1955 jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon.- Reception :The Billboard review stated that the album was "not too original, but it swings" and mentioned that Gordon played "some top-flight, Lester Young-inspired tenor here, with a more robust sound than that of the master...

    (1955)
  • Dexter Blows Hot and Cool
    Dexter Blows Hot and Cool
    -Reception:The Billboard Reviewer noted that Gordon appeared "somewhat mellowed, making little attempt to impress either as a technician or melodic innovator" but that there was "a quiet authority in his forthright, simply tailored style"...

    (1955)
  • The Resurgence of Dexter Gordon (Riverside, 1960)
  • Doin' Allright
    Doin' Allright
    Doin' Allright is an album by American jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded in 1961 and released on the Blue Note label.-Reception:The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 4 stars and stating "The title of this Blue Note set, Doin' Allright, fit perfectly at the time, for tenor...

    (1961), Blue Note
    Blue Note Records
    Blue Note Records is a jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues. At the end of the 1950s, and in the early 1960s, Blue Note headquarters...

  • Dexter Calling...
    Dexter Calling...
    Dexter Calling... is an album by American jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded in 1961 and released on the Blue Note label. "Soul Sister", "I Want More" and "Ernie's Tune" were written for the 1962 experimental movie The Connection.-Reception:...

    (1961), Blue Note
  • Go!
    Go (Dexter Gordon album)
    -Personnel:*Dexter Gordon – tenor saxophone*Sonny Clark – piano*Butch Warren – bass*Billy Higgins – drums...

    (1962), Blue Note
  • A Swingin' Affair
    A Swingin' Affair
    A Swingin' Affair is a 1962 jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon, recorded two days after his best-known album Go!, and with the same line-up.-Track listing:#"Soy Califa" –6:24...

    (1962), Blue Note
  • Our Man in Paris
    Our Man in Paris
    Our Man in Paris is a 1963 jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon. The album's title refers to where the recording was made, Gordon teaming up with fellow expatriates Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke, both Parisian residents, and native Parisian Pierre Michelot...

    (Paris 1963), Blue Note - w Bud Powell
    Bud Powell
    Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk...

  • One Flight Up
    One Flight Up
    One Flight Up is an album by American jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded in 1964 in Paris and released on the Blue Note label.-Reception:...

    (Paris, 1964) - Blue Note
  • King Neptune (1964)
  • Clubhouse
    Clubhouse (album)
    Clubhouse is an album by American jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded in 1965 but not released on the Blue Note label until 1979.-Reception:...

    (1965)
  • Gettin' Around
    Gettin' Around
    Gettin' Around is an album by American jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded in 1965 and released on the Blue Note label. The CD reissue added two additional recordings from the sessions as bonus tracks.-Reception:...

    (New York, 1965)
  • The Squirrel: Live at Montmartre (1967)
  • Take The "A" Train (1967)
  • Tower of Power (1969) - w James Moody
    James Moody (saxophonist)
    James Moody was an American jazz saxophone and flute player. He was best known for his hit "Moody's Mood for Love," an improvisation based on "I'm in the Mood for Love"; in performance, he often improvised vocals for the tune.-Biography:James Moody was born in Savannah, Georgia...

  • More Power (1969)
  • The Panther (1970) w Tommy Flanagan
    Tommy Flanagan
    Thomas Lee Flanagan was an American jazz pianist born in Detroit, Michigan, particularly remembered for his work with Ella Fitzgerald...

     and Alan Dawson
    Alan Dawson
    Alan Dawson was a respected jazz drummer and widely influential percussion teacher based in Boston. He was born in Marietta, Pennsylvania and raised in Roxbury, MA. Serving in the Army for Korean War duty, Dawson played with the Army Dance Band while stationed at Fort Dix from 1951-1953...

    . Prestige Records
    Prestige Records
    Prestige Records was a jazz record label founded in 1949 by Bob Weinstock. The company was located at 203 South Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, New Jersey, and recorded hundreds of albums by many of the leading jazz musicians of the day, sometimes issuing them under the names of several...

  • The Chase (1970) w Gene Ammons
    Gene Ammons
    Eugene "Jug" Ammons also known as "The Boss," was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, and the son of boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons.-Biography:...

     Prestige
  • The Jumpin' Blues (1970) w Wynton Kelly
    Wynton Kelly
    Wynton Kelly was a Jamaican-born jazz pianist, who spent his career in the United States. He is perhaps best known for working with trumpeter Miles Davis from 1959-1962.-Biography:...

  • Tangerine (1972) hard bop with Freddie Hubbard
    Freddie Hubbard
    Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 1960s and on...

     and others - Prestige
  • "Ca'Purange" (1972) with Thad Jones
    Thad Jones
    Thaddeus Joseph Jones was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader.-Biography:Thad Jones was born in Pontiac, Michigan to a musical family of ten . Thad Jones was a self taught musician, performing professionally by the age of sixteen...

    , Hank Jones
    Hank Jones
    Henry "Hank" Jones was an American jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. Critics and musicians described Jones as eloquent, lyrical, and impeccable. In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award...

    , Stanley Clarke
    Stanley Clarke
    Stanley Clarke is an American jazz musician and composer known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and electric bass guitar as well as for his numerous film and television scores...

     and Louis Hayes
    Louis Hayes
    Louis Hayes is an American jazz drummer.-Biography:His father played drums and piano and his mother the piano and he refers to the early influence of hearing jazz, especially that of big bands, on the radio...

  • "Generation" (1972) with Freddie Hubbard
    Freddie Hubbard
    Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 1960s and on...

    , Cedar Walton
    Cedar Walton
    Cedar Anthony Walton, Junior is an American hard bop jazz pianist.-Biography:Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas. His mother was an aspiring concert pianist, and was Walton's initial teacher. She also took him to jazz performances around Dallas...

     and others - Prestige
  • The Apartment (1974) - SteepleChase
  • Something Different (1975), SteepleChase
  • Bouncin' with Dex (1975), SteepleChase
  • Homecoming: Live at the Village Vanguard (1976)
  • True Blue
    True Blue (jazz album)
    True Blue is a jazz album by saxophonist Dexter Gordon and saxophonist Al Cohn, recorded in 1976 for Xanadu Records.- Personnel :* Al Cohn & Dexter Gordon - tenor saxophone* Blue Mitchell & Sam Noto - trumpet* Barry Harris piano...

    w/ Al Cohn
    Al Cohn
    Al Cohn was an American jazz saxophonist and arranger and composer.-Biography:Alvin Gilbert Cohn was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was initially known in the 1940s for playing in Woody Herman's Second Herd as one of the Four Brothers, along with Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, and Serge Chaloff...

     (1976; Xanadu Records
    Xanadu Records
    Xanadu Records was a jazz music record label specializing in bebop throughout the 1970s and 1980s founded by Don Schlitten, recording and issuing recordings by some legendary names in jazz music.-Discography:...

    )
  • Silver Blue
    Silver Blue (album)
    Silver Blue is a jazz album by saxophonists Al Cohn and Dexter Gordon, recorded in 1976 for Xanadu Records.- Personnel :* Al Cohn & Dexter Gordon - tenor saxophone* Blue Mitchell & Sam Noto - trumpet* Barry Harris piano* Sam Jones - bass guitar...

    w/ Al Cohn
    Al Cohn
    Al Cohn was an American jazz saxophonist and arranger and composer.-Biography:Alvin Gilbert Cohn was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was initially known in the 1940s for playing in Woody Herman's Second Herd as one of the Four Brothers, along with Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, and Serge Chaloff...

     (1976; Xanadu Records
    Xanadu Records
    Xanadu Records was a jazz music record label specializing in bebop throughout the 1970s and 1980s founded by Don Schlitten, recording and issuing recordings by some legendary names in jazz music.-Discography:...

    )
  • Biting The Apple (1976) - SteepleChase
  • Sophisticated Giant
    Sophisticated Giant
    Sophisticated Giant is a 1977 jazz album by Dexter Gordon recorded in 1977 by an eleven-piece band playing tunes arranged by trombone player Slide Hampton.-Side one:# "Laura" – 7:37...

    (1977) with 11-piece big-band including Woody Shaw
    Woody Shaw
    Woody Shaw was an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and band leader, often referred to as the "last innovator" in the jazz trumpet lineage...

    , Slide Hampton
    Slide Hampton
    Locksley Wellington "Slide" Hampton is an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger.He was a 1998 Grammy Award winner for "Best Jazz Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist", as arranger for "Cotton Tail" performed by Dee Dee Bridgewater...

    , Bobby Hutcherson
    Bobby Hutcherson
    Bobby Hutcherson is a jazz vibraphone and marimba player. His vibraphone playing is suggestive of the style of Milt Jackson in its free-flowing melodicism, but his sense of harmony and group interaction is thoroughly modern...

     - Columbia Records
    Columbia Records
    Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

  • Manhattan Symphonie (1978), Columbia Records—with Rufus Reid
    Rufus Reid
    Rufus Reid is an American jazz bassist, educator, and composer. He lives in Teaneck, New Jersey.-Personal history:...

     - bass, Eddie Gladden
    Eddie Gladden
    Eddie Gladden was an American jazz drummer.Gladden played professionally from 1962 in his hometown of Newark...

     - percussion, and George Cables
    George Cables
    George Andrew Cables is a jazz pianist, born November 14, 1944 in New York City.He has played with Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, and others.His own recordings include the 1980 Cables Vision with Freddie Hubbard among others....

     - keyboard
  • Gotham City (1980), Columbia Records
  • American Classic [featuring: Grover Washington Jr. and Shirley Scott] (1982) Elektra Entertainment
  • Round Midnight
    Round Midnight (Soundtrack)
    Round Midnight is a soundtrack album by Herbie Hancock featuring music recorded for Bertrand Tavernier's film Round Midnight released in 1986 on Columbia Records...

    (1986), Columbia Records
  • The Other Side of Round Midnight
    The Other Side of Round Midnight
    The Other Side of Round Midnight is an album by American jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded in 1985 and released on the Blue Note label. The album was recorded during the making of for Bertrand Tavernier's 1986 film Round Midnight which also produced the Academy Award-winning soundtrack album...

    (1986) Blue Note Records
    Blue Note Records
    Blue Note Records is a jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues. At the end of the 1950s, and in the early 1960s, Blue Note headquarters...

  • Live at Carnegie Hall (1998), Columbia Records – Recorded in 1978
  • The Rainbow People with Benny Bailey
    Benny Bailey
    Benny Bailey, born Ernest Harold Bailey , was an American bebop and hard-bop jazz trumpeter.-Biography:...

    (2002), Steeplechase Records - Released in 2002

External links