Virtual Jazz at the Bechtler | A Tribute to Dexter Gordon: Swiss Nights Vol. 1



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Join us Friday, April 2 as the Ziad Jazz Quartet performs "A Tribute to Dexter Gordon: Swiss Nights Vol. 1." This live album, led by saxophonist Dexter Gordon, was recorded in Zurich in 1975 and released on the Danish SteepleChase label. It is the first of a three-part live concert set, including vol. 1, 2 & 3 which were recorded August 23rd and 24th 1975 at the Zurich Jazz Festival in Zurich, Switzerland.  

Dexter Gordon

American jazz tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was among the most influential early bebop musicians, which included other greats such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell. Known for his height of 6 feet 6 inches, Gordon can also be known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant." His studio and performance career spanned over 40 years. Gordon was also known for his friendly, cheerful, and humorous stage presence. He was an advocate of playing to communicate with the audience, which was his musical approach as well. His improvisation was remarkably engaging and intelligent, but never gratuitously complex or unusual. One of his idiosyncratic rituals was to recite lyrics from each ballad before playing it.

Gordon's sound was commonly characterized as being "large" and spacious and he had a tendency to play behind the beat. He was known for inserting musical quotes into his solos, with sources as diverse as "Happy Birthday" and well known melodies from the operas of Wagner. This is not unusual in jazz improvisation, but Gordon did it frequently enough to make it a hallmark of his style. One of his major influences was Lester Young. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Rollins and Coltrane then influenced Gordon's playing as he explored hard bop and modal playing during the 1960s


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