Details

ISBN-10: 0520350790
ISBN-13: 9780520350793
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 09/15/2020
Dimensions: 8.60" L, 5.50" W, 0.90" H

Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon

Foreword by: Farah Jasmine Griffin
Afterword by: Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III

Paperback

Price: $19.95

Overview

“An occasion to appreciate Dexter’s resounding musical genius as well as his wish for major social transformation.”–Angela Y. Davis, political activist, scholar, author, and speaker

Sophisticated Giant presents the life and legacy of tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1923-1990), one of the major innovators of modern jazz. In a context of biography, history, and memoir, Maxine Gordon has completed the book that her late husband began, weaving his “solo” turns with her voice and a chorus of voices from past and present. Reading like a jazz composition, the blend of research, anecdote, and a selection of Dexter’s personal letters reflects his colorful life and legendary times. It is clear why the celebrated trumpet genius Dizzy Gillespie said to Dexter, “Man, you ought to leave your karma to science.”

Dexter Gordon the icon is the Dexter beloved and celebrated on albums, on film, and in jazz lore–even in a street named for him in Copenhagen. But this image of the cool jazzman fails to come to terms with the multidimensional man full of humor and wisdom, a figure who struggled to reconcile being both a creative outsider who broke the rules and a comforting insider who was a son, father, husband, and world citizen. This essential book is an attempt to fill in the gaps created by our misperceptions as well as the gaps left by Dexter himself.

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Reviews
"Maxine Gordon astutely frames the fiery daring of Dexter Gordon's generation of bebop innovators in the context of rising black consciousness and creative agency in midcentury America..."Sophisticated Giant" is a work of considerable sophistication, the first-person testimony of its subject employed with affectionate discipline, smartly contextualized and augmented by material from interviews Maxine Gordon conducted with the tenor saxophone masters Sonny Rollins and Jimmy Heath, the record producers Bruce Lundvall and Michael Cucsuna, and others."–David Hajdu, "The New York Times"
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Details

ISBN-10: 0520350790
ISBN-13: 9780520350793
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 09/15/2020
Dimensions: 8.60" L, 5.50" W, 0.90" H
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