Dexter Gordon this weekend. Last week I ran a concert featuring Wardell Gray, whose Tenor duels with Dexter Gordon in the early 1950s were legendary. This week it’s Dexter’s turn. Later on in his career, but still a solid and vital presence. He does a live radio gig here, from February 9, 1973 for Radio France. Featuring Georges Arvanitas on piano, Alby Cullaz on bass and Daniel Humair on drums. At the time it was a local gig, since Gordon had migrated to Europe in the early 1960s and was playing primarily with European musicians, but also whoever was coming into town. His visits to the States during this time were mostly for recording dates, commuting back and forth between New York and homes in Paris and Copenhagen. He had also switched record companies, from his long association with Blue Note to Prestige, as well as guest-appearing on a number of European labels.
This was also around the time Gordon was expanding into other areas. He began film scoring, and an acting career was hovering in the background.
During the time he spent in Europe, his popularity never wavered back in the States – in fact, if anything it became more widespread. So that by the time he returned in 1976 and settled back in the U.S., he was met with adoring enthusiasm. So much so, that he recorded a series of live albums between 1976 and 1979 and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame and given Downbeat Magazines Musician of The Year in 1980. It was in the 1980s that Dexter Gordon drew increasing accolades, not so much for his music, but his acting.
A well regarded and highly influential figure in Jazz from the 1950s on. His legacy is a wealth of studio recordings, but also his live albums which span his 40 year career. One of the essentials.
Turn this one up and enjoy.