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Dexter Gordon: A Musical Biography (Da Capo Paperback) Paperback – 22 Aug 1989


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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (22 Aug 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306803615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306803611
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 952,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Stan Britt has written about jazz for more than twenty-five years. A regular contributor to Jazz Journal, author of The Jazz Guitarist and the coauthor of the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz, he is currently at work on a study of Frank Sinatra's contributions to popular singing. He lives in London.

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First Sentence
Dexter Keith Gordon was born in the city of Los Angeles, California, on 27 February 1923, the only son of Dr Frank Alexander Gordon and Mrs Gwendolyn Gordon. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Spooner on 9 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Already read this book sometime ago for myself , Bought this copy for a friend who tells me he enjoyed the book as much as i did . A pretty comprehensive study of the man and his music, Nice to know that this volume is still in print. Would recommend to any one has more than a passing interest in Dexter Gordon and would like to learn more about the man and his life and his music.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 1999
Format: Paperback
This book explains how Dexter Gordon was born in Los Angeles. His father was one of the few black dentists in the 1920's. Dexter said he wanted to learn how to play the clarinet like his father. His father agreed as long as he took music theory lessons as well. As a teenager he switched to tenor saxophone and the rest as they say is history. He got his big break with the Lionel Hampton big band on tour. During that tour he learned a lot from Illinois Jaquette who was playing 1st tenor. Eventually he made as many recordings as Stan Getz. He moved to Europe and settled in Copehagen, Denmark. He finally came back to the "States" and acted in some movies. For example: "'Round Midnight" and "Awakenings." Dexter is in a video called "Jazz in Exile" which you can buy through The Saxophone Journal. If you have any experiences with Dexter Gordon, please e-mail me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Viva LTD 15 Sep 2005
By Butrus Salim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well written account of Dex's life. In contrast to some jazz biographies, it doesn't get mired in a repetitive account of lineups, gigs, and recording dates. Rather, Britt manages to flesh out Dexter well, emphasizing his inimitable physical presence and huge tone. One criticism would be an over-reliance on long quotations from critics and other jazzmen, but most of these offer interesting glimpses of the artist. I give it five stars because this is the only book of its kind and it is ably written. A nice little volume for all of Dexter's fans. Long live LTD!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Long Tall Dexter 5 Sep 2007
By Bomojaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was a seminal figure in modern jazz; his huge, magisterial tone was awe-inspiring, especially when heard on slow ballads. Influenced by the stylings of Lester Young, combined with the musical vocabulary of bebop, Gordon produced some of the most memorable jazz performances during the bop/hard bop era. Stan Britt does a good job of relating the Gordon story. The first half of the book is a fairly straight-forward account of Dexter's life, from the Central Avenue scene in LA, where he grew up; to his first professional gigs with Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, and Billy Eckstine; to his association with Wardell Gray and Charlie Parker; to his drug problems in the early '50s; to his expatriate days in Europe; and finally to his re-emergence on the American jazz scene with his return to NYC in 1976 and the making of the movie ROUND MIDNIGHT. Discussion of Gordon's recordings are removed from the chronology and gathered in a final chapter; I'm not sure I agree with this decision and think perhaps more constructive commentary would have been made of the recordings if Britt had placed them within the biographical text - a la Jack Chambers's approach in his superb biography of Miles Davis (MILESTONES). There is a fairly comprehensive discography, however, of studio dates on which Dexter plays. Britt is a good writer, and though obviously a devotee of Gordon's playing, he casts a critical eye where appropriate and refuses to write as an idolater. Recommended.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This book relates Dexter Gordon's entire life. 28 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book explains how Dexter Gordon was born in Los Angeles. His father was one of the few black dentists in the 1920's. Dexter said he wanted to learn how to play the clarinet like his father. His father agreed as long as he took music theory lessons as well. As a teenager he switched to tenor saxophone and the rest as they say is history. He got his big break with the Lionel Hampton big band on tour. During that tour he learned a lot from Illinois Jaquette who was playing 1st tenor. Eventually he made as many recordings as Stan Getz. He moved to Europe and settled in Copehagen, Denmark. He finally came back to the "States" and acted in some movies. For example: "'Round Midnight" and "Awakenings." Dexter is in a video called "Jazz in Exile" which you can buy through The Saxophone Journal. If you have any experiences with Dexter Gordon, please e-mail me.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Britt does a fine job.... 26 Jan 2000
By Brian Murphy (valparais@aol.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was a great biography on the man, Dexter Gordon. Gordon is one of the most underated musicians in jazz history, and it is good that the truth about this man's greatness is finally being told. I recomend this book to anyone who loves Dexter as much as I do.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
detailed and inclusive 21 May 2014
By Monk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable read of a very enjoyable jazz personality. It read as easily as a novel and hits the high spots. The inclusion of Dexter's movie appearance was quite interesting and that part of his life was unusual for a jazz musician. As a result of reading the book, I purchased a compact disc or two of Mr. Gordon's music. It was a very worthwhile purchase and reading it was time very well spent for me.
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