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Dexter Gordon

Dexter Gordon is considered to be the first musician to translate the language of Bebop to the tenor saxophone. Dexter Keith Gordon was born on February 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, California. His father, Dr. Frank Gordon, was one of the first African American doctors in Los Angeles who arrived in 1918 after graduating from Howard Medical School in Washington, D.C. Among his patients were Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. Dexter's mother, Gwendolyn Baker, was the daughter of Captain Edward Baker, one of the five African American Medal of Honor recipients in the Spanish-American War. He began his study of music with the clarinet at age 13, then switched to the alto saxophone at 15, and finally to the tenor saxophone at 17

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat

Read "Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Benjamin Koppel is an extraordinary Danish musician from an illustrious music family. He is all about music—of just about any kind. He's always absorbing it, discovering what there is to derive from it. A kind of restless desire to explore envelops him. He simplifies it in his own words: he's curious. It comes naturally to him. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Keith Jarrett & Vince Guaraldi

Read "Keith Jarrett & Vince Guaraldi" reviewed by Joe Dimino

During the penultimate episode of Neon Jazz during 2020, we continue to honor the voices of modern jazz. We start things off with a talented musician from Norway in Espen Berg. We also hear from Doug Carn of the 2020 Jazz is Dead series. We profile the busy and talented Kansas City saxophonist Rich Wheeler and ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Billy Childs: L.A. Contentment

Read "Billy Childs: L.A. Contentment" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Billy Childs says taking formal piano lessons as a young child “didn't register" at the time. He didn't recoil from the instrument by any means, but it wasn't yet exciting. But he had a neighbor who also played. Childs looked up to him. It was that neighbor who showed him stuff--taught him to play “ Cantaloupe ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Francesco Massaro: zoologo imperfetto

Read "Francesco Massaro: zoologo imperfetto" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Francesco Massaro, quarantaduenne compositore, sassofonista e clarinettista pugliese, è da alcuni anni uno dei musicisti più interessanti della penisola, messosi in luce per il singolare tipo di ricerca a cavallo tra improvvisazione e scrittura non convenzionale portata avanti dalla sua principale formazione, Bestiario. Lo abbiamo intervistato in occasione dell'uscita del terzo lavoro del gruppo, Quaderni di ...

Derek Trucks: Chops, Romance & Dance

Read "Derek Trucks: Chops, Romance & Dance" reviewed by Alan Bryson

It's a good bet that most of us have heard people say they don't like jazz, or even worse, drop the H-bomb, “I hate jazz." If you choose to engage, the key is to tread lightly and tailor an approach that considers the tastes and sensibilities of the other person. The “So You Don't Like Jazz" ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Rick Mandyck

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Rick Mandyck" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 1930's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Judith & Dave O'Higgins: His 'n' Hers

Read "His 'n' Hers" reviewed by Chris May

Here is a great idea for a tough tenors face-off in the tradition of the Johnny Griffin / Eddie “Lockjaw" Davis group... Get hold of a tenor duo comprising a husband and wife who are on the verge of divorce and can barely stand being in the same room together and record them as they try ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jay Thomas Quartet: Upside

Read "Upside" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Seattle-based musician Jay Thomas may be considered the oddest of ducks in the jazz universe. By that, I am referring to his fierce musicality expressed both on trumpet and saxophone, as well as most members of the brass and woodwind families. Inspired early in his career by the like minded veteran Ira Sullivan, Thomas in a ...


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