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Gheorghe

Sonny Stitt. Why didn´t he become as famous as Dexter?

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1 hour ago, Dub Modal said:

Damn, what a tragedy. 

I think Dexter by and large may have found ways to manage his intake. I had a longish conversation with him in his Chicago hotel suite after "'Round Midnight" came out, and he was perfectly lucid and quite witty. OTOH, while we talked Maxine, upset about something, was slamming things around in the bedroom. I got up to leave and Dexter said, "Sit DOWN." The conversation continued. That's the one where Dexter said of Hank Mobley, "Ah yes, the Hankenstein -- He was SO hip." Also, admiringly, of Lockjaw Davis, "Damn -- that Jaws plays backwards."

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3 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

That's the one where Dexter said of Hank Mobley, "Ah yes, the Hankenstein -- He was SO hip." Also, admiringly, of Lockjaw Davis, "Damn -- that Jaws plays backwards."

I've only ever read a couple of interviews with Gordon, but his hip speech patterns sometimes seem to come across as a defence mechanism.

I'm thinking of Notes and Tones in particular where Gordon manages to scramble Art Taylor's leading questions.

In real life did it appear defensive or charming?

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11 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

I've only ever read a couple of interviews with Gordon, but his hip speech patterns sometimes seem to come across as a defence mechanism.

I'm thinking of Notes and Tones in particular where Gordon manages to scramble Art Taylor's leading questions.

In real life did it appear defensive or charming?

Charming and insightful, if one caught his drift -- i.e. Mobley's harmonic choices were so hip, and Jaws' habits of attack and accentuation more or less reversed some of what was normal.

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Charm can be a very potent defense mechanism, so, both?

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Charm can be a very potent defense mechanism, so, both?

Maybe so, but I felt charmed. Also, I was in a perfectly friendly mood, so there was no apparent need for him to be defensive in regard to me. Now there was Maxine's uproar in the background, so you could say he was being charming to me to defensively stiff-arm her anger/irritation at him about whatever she was pissed at him about. My guess at the time was that she had a schedule in mind for the evening and he wasn't adhering to it.

Another good line from that visit (to me): "Did you ever expect to see a bebop tenor saxophonist about to order caviar from room service?" The drawn out cadence with which he said that was just delicious. It went something like this: 

"Did you ever expect to see

a bebop tenor saxophonist

 about to order caviar

 from room service?"

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12 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

I think Dexter by and large may have found ways to manage his intake. I had a longish conversation with him in his Chicago hotel suite after "'Round Midnight" came out, and he was perfectly lucid and quite witty. OTOH, while we talked Maxine, upset about something, was slamming things around in the bedroom. I got up to leave and Dexter said, "Sit DOWN." The conversation continued. That's the one where Dexter said of Hank Mobley, "Ah yes, the Hankenstein -- He was SO hip." Also, admiringly, of Lockjaw Davis, "Damn -- that Jaws plays backwards."

 

5 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Maybe so, but I felt charmed. Also, I was in a perfectly friendly mood, so there was no apparent need for him to be defensive in regard to me. Now there was Maxine's uproar in the background, so you could say he was being charming to me to defensively stiff-arm her anger/irritation at him about whatever she was pissed at him about. My guess at the time was that she had a schedule in mind for the evening and he wasn't adhering to it.

Another good line from that visit (to me): "Did you ever expect to see a bebop tenor saxophonist about to order caviar from room service?" The drawn out cadence with which he said that was just delicious. It went something like this: 

"Did you ever expect to see

a bebop tenor saxophonist

 about to order caviar

 from room service?"

Great stories, indeed. I always wondered about the relation with Maxine. Strange to say, in her book about Dexter she doesn´t write much about their live as a married couple. 
But I always thought how is it to be married first to a young junkie (Woody Shaw) and then exchanging him with an old alcoolic (Dexter Gordon). Both key musicians of the 20th century, both super destructive. 

As a woman how can you manage that. You might be a kind of "mama Teresa" or the kind of woman that "Buttercup" was to Bud ? 

And .....slamming things around, sounds like a very irrascible woman, that´s even more difficult to handle. Maybe that got Dexter to increase his alcool consumption more and more ? 

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ah, Maxine. A friend of mine did a lot of work for her as a favor to help promote the Dexter book, I mean a lot. And as he told me "she didn't even give me a free damn book."

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Given all the talk about Dexter, I pulled the trigger at Half Price Books yesterday on his "Our Man in Amsterdam," rec. live in 1969, with the late Cees Slinger, Jacque Scholes, and Han Bennink. Volume needs a boost, but the music is excellent, and the CD runs more than 70 minutes. Slinger's craggy Jackie Byard-like comping is a plus. As Dexter says of the opening track, "Fried Bananas," "very tasty." Rest of the program: "What's New" (very soulful), "Good Bait," "Rhythm-A-Ning," "Willow Weep For Me," "Junior," "Scrapple from the Apple."

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Posted (edited)

I see that I am in a small minority here. I just wanted to mention that when it comes to playing behind the beat, the most interesting player I ever heard was Dickey Wells. He was uncanny, even in his dotage when, on a good night, he could still blow. And his playing was amazingly "outside." Dick Katz talked about how Dickey would play a full step above the chords. Whereas I found Dexter's behind-the-beat playing mannered and...well, grating.

Edited by AllenLowe

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18 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

ah, Maxine. A friend of mine did a lot of work for her as a favor to help promote the Dexter book, I mean a lot. And as he told me "she didn't even give me a free damn book."

As Woody Shaw could have said, "Watch out for red-headed women." But then as Maxine could have said, "Watch out for trumpeters named Woody."

 

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if Farah Jasmine Griffin thinks Maxine knows what she's doing, well, that's about all we need to know.

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Posted (edited)

51 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

 the most interesting player I ever heard was Dickey Wells. He was uncanny, even in his dotage when, on a good night, he could still blow. And his playing was amazingly "outside." Dick Katz talked about how Dickey would play a full step above the chords.

(Starts searching apple music for Dickey Wells...)

Edited by Dub Modal

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32 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

if Farah Jasmine Griffin thinks Maxine knows what she's doing, well, that's about all we need to know.

Don't know of Jasmine Griffin myself. By you she's a dubious source?

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15 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

 

Another good line from that visit (to me): "Did you ever expect to see a bebop tenor saxophonist about to order caviar from room service?" The drawn out cadence with which he said that was just delicious. It went something like this: 

"Did you ever expect to see

a bebop tenor saxophonist

 about to order caviar

 from room service?"

I can totally hear Dexter's voice saying that sentence exactly like you have turned it into prose.

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Just now, Dan Gould said:

I can totally hear Dexter's voice saying that sentence exactly like you have turned it into prose.

Good. I tried to convey the at once stately and semi-ironic flavor of his remark. The man had a way with words. 

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14 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Good. I tried to convey the at once stately and semi-ironic flavor of his remark. The man had a way with words. 

He would recite lyrics of some standards before he played them in that same voice.

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1 hour ago, AllenLowe said:

I see that I am in a small minority here. I just wanted to mention that when it comes to playing behind the beat, the most interesting player I ever heard was Dickey Wells. He was uncanny, even in his dotage when, on a good night, he could still blow. And his playing was amazingly "outside." Dick Katz talked about how Dickey would play a full step above the chords. Whereas I found Dexter's behind-the-beat playing mannered and...well, grating.

Where would you suggest starting?

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1 hour ago, Rabshakeh said:

Where would you suggest starting?

This is a fabulous recording. 

Cover art for The Night Man [1937] [Americans Swinging in Paris] by Dicky Wells

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Posted (edited)

the above is probably his best work.

2 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Don't know of Jasmine Griffin myself. By you she's a dubious source?

Larry: she wrote a Billie Holiday bio which is full of the usual academic b.s. but which has one particularly offensive section about the late session which she did with Jimmy Rowles (which came out on LP and CD with their conversations intact). Now, if you listen, and you know anything about Rowles and Billie, she loved his playing and they were good friends. But Griffin writes about how Rowles was a white man that Billie didn't trust and she kept him at a distance, and that race was a deep divider between the two, and that this was made clear by the recorded conversation. It's complete and utter b.s., not just based on this conversation but on everything else that we know. And yet, the conversation, if she was actually listening, is clearly one of two comrades who love and respect each other.

I just can't abide her kind of academic obfuscation, her clear lack of understanding of that life, her typical academic tendency to build a small, square ideological box and try to fit a lot of large round objects into it

Edited by AllenLowe

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Whew. Sorry to hear that and sorry to think about the people who might have believed her b.s.

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14 hours ago, bresna said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/arts/music/maxine-gordon-dexter-gordon-jazz-advocates.html

If it helps understand their dynamic any... Maxine is about 27 years younger than Dex.

I clicked the link but got some warning about to subscribe or to reject or so. Can someone reproduce what she said. 
 

 

15 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

ah, Maxine. A friend of mine did a lot of work for her as a favor to help promote the Dexter book, I mean a lot. And as he told me "she didn't even give me a free damn book."

Well that´s very interesting. And anyway, the relationship between her and Dex remains an enigma to me. In her book she writes that their relation started on business base and I think she still was married to Woody Shaw. 
See, I don´t need to read a "love story", but it seems a quite strange combination. A very very slow moving and slow speaking old man with a heavy alcool problem and -  from what I have  heard -  a more that 20 years quite irrascible and tough business woman. 
Was she to Dex was Buttercup was to Bud ? Dexter always may have had his cups, in Danemarca too, but maybe people were softer, kinder to him, and maybe a tough irrascible woman who starts throwing things around in the hotel room, might have got Dexter to even increase his alcool consumption ?????

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Posted (edited)

On 2022/3/1 at 9:56 PM, Gheorghe said:

Back to Gordon: How was his reception in Japan in his last years. I only heard that a concert in Tokyo in 1975 was less successful....

 

I'm too young for being there in person, but I guess Dex was popular in Japan in the 70s since he was a spearhead of "Hardbop Revival".  His fame was revived with the "'Round Midnight" movie and his last visit to Japan was 1988.  The capacity of the Youbin Chokin Hall is 1600 people or such, so I guess Dex was still quite popular at the time.  And his playing is still quite good (well, a bit feeble on uptempo tunes, I should say).

 

Edited by mhatta

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20 hours ago, mhatta said:

I'm too young for being there in person, but I guess Dex was popular in Japan in the 70s since he was a spearhead of "Hardbop Revival".  His fame was revived with the "'Round Midnight" movie and his last visit to Japan was 1988.  The capacity of the Youbin Chokin Hall is 1600 people or such, so I guess Dex was still quite popular at the time.  And his playing is still quite good (well, a bit feeble on uptempo tunes, I should say).

 

I have listened to it yesterday.

Thank you for sharing.

I might say to my astonishment, that Dexter sounds much better than on the last occasion I saw him live. That was in 1983 and it left us all embarrassed , so weak it was. 

But here it´s such a fantastic band that seems to help him out. With such a fantastic drummer like Billy Higgins even that tired old Dexter doesn´t play so much laid back than he did in the late 70´s early 80´s, so he sure has difficulties to manage to get through. 

Round Midnight maybe is too slow. 

Blues Walk is better than I expected. Dexter quotes "Farmer´s Market" at one moment, and then Cedar Walton also quotes the same tune. Bobby Hutcherson is great, and above all the Buster Williams Billy Higgins connection. 

Society red is also cool. Dexter quotes "Blues in the Night", Cedar quotes "Salt Peanuts" and "Now is the Time", and Buster Williams quotes "Blues in the Closet'". Again, Bobby Hutcherson is fantastic. 

I´m not a fan of listenig to late recordings of artists, they make me sad, but this is much better than the "adio experience" I had in 1983 with a completly drunk old man, almost unable to play or even stand on the stage. 

This tour must have costed a fortune. Dexter was under contract by BN again, but it´s sad they didn´t record the band in the studio too. It might have brought Dexter a lot of money.

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George, the time you saw Dexter in 1983 he was exhibiting the effects of too much alcohol, which was my experience when I saw him in his later years inToronto. Yet the 1988 session in Japan could have taken place when Dexter kept his alcohol consumption under control.

 

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