| Jazz Icons: Dexter Gordon features three concerts filmed in 1963 and 1964 in Holland, Switzerland and Belgium that highlight the bebop legend’s classic style and silky tone. Filmed while Dexter was living in Europe, these shows feature legendary side musicians such as Art Taylor (drums) and Kenny Drew (piano) and jazz classics “Blues Walk”, “A Night In Tunisia”, “Body And Soul” and others. One of the most influential saxophonists in jazz history (both John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins claim him as an influence), Dexter Gordon is captured in sharp form and style on this 70-minute tour de force.
Liner notes by Dexter's widow, historian Maxine Gordon
Foreword by Michael Cuscuna
Cover photo by Francis Wolff
Booklet photos by Jan Persson, Lee Tanner, Riccardo Schwamenthal
Total time: 69 minutes
He was a one-of-a-kind in so many ways. Musicians are by trade citizens of the world, but I’ve never seen anyone quite as comfortable and acclimating as Dexter no matter where he was. He was also a voracious reader, favoring 19th-century French writers (he learned to read French while he was the librarian in Chino Prison where a patron had donated a collection of books in French) and contemporaries like J. P. Donleavy (The Ginger Man was one of his favorites).
On the performances on this DVD, Dexter at age 40 was at the peak of his powers. His tone resonates with power and beauty, his chops enable him to execute whatever occurs to him and his ideas flow seamlessly. Lester Young once told him that it was essential to know the lyrics to a song to play it properly. Based on his ballad performances here, especially on “You’ve Changed,” it’s a lesson learned well.