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Dexter Gordon

Home > Music > G > Gordon, Dexter

Born: 1923/02/27
Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA, U.S.
Died: 1990/04/25
Years Active: 1940 – 1986
Genres: Swing, Bop, Hard Bop

Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and actor. He is considered one of the first bebop tenor players. A famous photograph by Herman Leonard of Gordon smoking a cigarette during a set at the Royal Roost in New York City in 1948 is one of the most iconic images in the history of jazz. Gordon's height was 6 feet 6 inches (about 198 cm), and so consequently he was also known as 'Long Tall Dexter'. He played a Conn 10M 'Ladyface' tenor until it was stolen in a Paris airport in 1961. He then switched over to a Selmer Mark VI. His saxophone was fitted with an Otto Link metal mouthpiece, which can be seen in various photos.

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