I was still in high school when I first heard of Dexter Gordon. After school, our high school band director was teaching improvisation to those of us who were interested. Most times we were using Jamey Aebersold recordings to practice. Other times we were listening to jazz records. One of those records was by Dexter Gordon, though I don’t remember which one.
I have to admit that when I first heard Dexter’s playing I did not understand. And then there was Wayne Shorter. I sure as hell didn’t understand what was happening there. I had never been exposed to jazz before this time. As close as I ever came was B.B. King. But that was a start. And at that time the only other sax player I’d heard before high school was David Sanborn. And the recording was not jazz. It was more funk or fusion, and before I knew there was a difference in the different genres of jazz.
As I’ve gotten older I have learned to appreciate what I didn’t understand. So I have recently been rediscovering some of the Jazz greats. Dexter Gordon was one of these. I recently acquired one of his records (gotta love the internet), The Panther. There are some great songs on this record, including The Christmas Song. I wanted to share three with you here today.
The Blues Walk
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.