The Early Years 1941-52
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3139
Dexter Gordon was one of the first tenor saxophonists to embrace the new bebop jazz idiom being developed by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell during the mid-1940s, and went on to enjoy a career which eventually encompassed four decades. His musical philosophy was that he played to entertain and communicate with his audience, and with his imposing 6’ 6” stature and jocular stage presence, allied to his big sound, he was a highly distinctive performer. He was a major force in the development of modern saxophone style, building on the influences of Lester Young to become himself an influence on the likes of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. This collection focuses on the first decade or so of his recording career, from his 1941 recording debut with The Lionel Hampton Orchestra and sessions with The Billy Eckstine Orchestra and Dizzy Gillespie, then incarnations of his own small groups, most notably his legendary tenor sax ‘duels’ with Wardell Gray in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s through to 1952, when his career was interrupted for a few years by brushes with the law over his drug use. It includes several of the marvellously exciting extended ‘live’ performances with Gray, which along with the studio recordings provide an entertaining insight into his artistry.