Jazz Musician. He was a tenor saxophone player who is considered the first "real" be bop tenor saxophonist. Dexter Gordon had a long and intresting life in which he disappeared from the jazz scene on many occassions with his life at times in some disarray due to two broken marriages, drinking and also a drug problem. He eventually finished out his career on top of his game. Gordon was born and raised in Watts, CA. He began his musical career studying clarinet; by his mid-teens he had switched to tenor saxophone. At 17, he started performing with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and before he was 30, he had adorned the stages with some of the top names in jazz history, including Louis Armstrong, Charlie "Bird" Parker, Miles Davis and Billy Ekstine. Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Gordon toured extensively, becoming especially popular in Europe where he mostly resided. He is the only muscian ever nominated for an Oscar for his role in the most praised jazz film of all time, Bertrand Tavernier's, "Round Midnight". After his return from Europe to New York in 1976 he was elected to the Jazz Hall of Fame and in 1978 and 1980, Downbeat Magazine named him "Muscian of the Year". Dexter Gordon died in Philadelphia, PA in 1990. He still stands as a true giant in the legacy of jazz and his recordings stand as a eloquent testimony to a man who influenced many musicians.
Bio by: Curtis Jackson