February 27, 2023 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Dexter Gordon was born 100 years ago today. A towering figure in many ways, the 6′6″ jazz tenor saxophonist was popularly known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant". His album Go is considered among his finest, and is a great place to start with his music. In addition to his musical career, Gordon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Round Midnight.
posted by oulipian (12 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Oh my.

This is great - I like Coffin's take on Gordon.

I'm very pleased to know that this is his centennial - I'll be queuing up some tracks for some attentive listening. (I have a good Early Years collection, and right now I've got "You Can Depend on Me" from "Daddy Plays the Horn" - oh my god.)

Thank you so much for posting this, oulipian. What a sound.
posted by kristi at 2:20 PM on February 27, 2023 [2 favorites]

{barber shop breaking of silence}

"Dexter Gordon"

Blue Bossa.
posted by clavdivs at 2:22 PM on February 27, 2023 [2 favorites]

Always time for Dexter. :)

He was great in 'Round Midnight.
posted by Pouteria at 2:43 PM on February 27, 2023

He was also great on the first recorded version of 'Watermelon Man.'
posted by box at 2:47 PM on February 27, 2023 [2 favorites]

The always reliable to mark important jazz milestnes with 24 hour tributes WKCR is giving Gordon his due today.
posted by wheelieman at 3:17 PM on February 27, 2023 [3 favorites]

Gordon is one of my major influences.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:38 PM on February 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

I saw Dexter live in a club on Chicago SouthSide. Musta been around 1965. Bandstand was behind the bar and his feet were about at my eye lebel. He looked about ten feet tall. And he played like a giant. His playing was immaculate, refined. I've been listening to him all afternoon.
posted by charlesminus at 4:18 PM on February 27, 2023 [9 favorites]

One of my favorite tenors, among heavy competition - and when I’m listening to him, that tone and his clarity and energy usually push him to the top.

Gotta agree with Go as the top album, although Our Man in Paris and Dexter Calling are great as well. And I can’t forget those swinging bop sides from the ‘40s and early ‘50s when the world was young.
posted by saintjoe at 5:31 PM on February 27, 2023

Thanks so much for this - really looking forward to digging into these links
posted by The River Ivel at 2:56 AM on February 28, 2023

Thanks for this. He was amazing.
posted by freakazoid at 3:57 AM on February 28, 2023

Dexter is my second favorite saxophonist (after Coltrane), and sometimes he jumps into the #1 spot depending on my mood.

For example, if you actively listen to "Don't Explain" (from "A Swingin' Affair) and don't feel something, you should go see a doctor about your lack of emotional empathy.

I think that's what sets Gordon apart from other musicians for me: his ability to express emotion in his playing.
posted by jeremias at 5:02 AM on February 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Long tall Dex was a phenomenal tenor player. He is right up there with the best. I don't think he ever recorded a mediocre album. I loved his "vin rouge" accent in "Round Midnight". When he spoke it was like honey slowly flowing from a bottle. Plus we share a birthday.
posted by DJZouke at 5:21 AM on February 28, 2023

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