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Jazz Icons: Dexter Gordon Live in '63 & '64

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Sep 04, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jazz Icons: Dexter Gordon features three concerts filmed in 1963 and 1964 in Holland, Switzerland and Belgium that highlight the bebop legend's classic style and silky tone. Filmed while Dexter was living in Europe, these shows feature legendary side musicians such as Art Taylor (drums) and Kenny Drew (piano) and jazz classics "Blues Walk", "A Night In Tunisia", "Body And Soul" and others. One of the most influential saxophonists in jazz history (both John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins claim him as an influence), Dexter Gordon is captured in sharp form and style on this 70-minute tour de force.

Review

"Jazz Icons is doing for jazz what the Criterion Collection has done for classic and important films". -- Jazz Times

Jazz Icons represents the new millennium's most welcome shot in the arm for the music's soul -- Newsday.com, October 14, 2007, Gene Seymour

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dexter Gordon
  • Format: Best of, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Jazz Icons
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TNJII8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Dexter Gordon fans will find plenty to love on this DVD of three European TV shows filmed in the 1960s. Dexter is in top form on seven songs, really stretching out and getting the lion's share of the solo time.

The band on "Second Balcony Jump" and "You've Changed" consists of Dexter, Kenny Drew(p), Gilbert "Bibi" Rovere(b), and Art Taylor(d). The rest of the program has George Gruntz(p), Guy Pedersen(b), and Daniel Humair(d) backing Dexter on "A Night in Tunisia", "What's New", Clifford Brown's "Blues Walk", "Lady Bird", and "Body and Soul". The ballads are masterful and gorgeous (of course). I think "You've Changed" is even better here than on his "Doin' Alright" album.

You can find some of these performances on youtube if you want an idea of what you'll get, just keep in mind the picture and sound quality are much better on the DVD (quite good in fact). Also, the liner notes by Dexter's widow are excellent- informative and very entertaining.

If you're a fan of Dexter's Blue Note albums you won't be disappointed. If you're unfamiliar with this tenor giant, this is a good place to start.
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Format: DVD
A friend gave me this DVD and it has since become one of my often-watched (and studied) performance videos.

The opening scene on the DVD reminded me of Dexter's character, Dale Turner, in 'Round Midnight walking along a narrow Paris street to the Blue Note. Instead, it is the man himself walking into a small club in Amersfoort, Holland for a performance that was broadcast on TV. You can tell this scene was staged because Dexter was wearing a trench coat and the performance took place on 29 July 1964 (not exactly the time of year one wears outerwear).

His trio was playing when he walked in and took to the bandstand, and he joined them with a smoking rendition of Night In Tunisia. Although that song was Dizzy Gillespie's bebop anthem and made his own by Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, Dexter's rendition is one of my favorites.

He finished his set off with equally impressive performances of What's New and Blues Walk (the latter a Sonny Stitt composition). What sets Dexter apart from other tenor players is he had his own style - and it was more like an alto sax than a tenor. But what I truly loved about this segment was the backing ensemble consisting of George Gruntz on piano, Guy Pedersen on bass and Daniel Humair on drums. They were tight and it was obvious that either this was rehearsed or they had played with Dexter before. Some research revealed that Humair was Dexter's preferred drummer, and as a drummer I can understand why. Humair anticipated Dexter's every note, as well as the other members of the trio. Indeed, Gruntz and Pedersen also played beautifully.

For non drummers, please skip over this (and forgive me.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this DVD! My father and I had seen Dex in Detroit at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in the '80s. It was by far the coolest thing I have ever done in my life. I have watched this DVD over and over and each time I hear something different. I ordered a copy for myself and my Dad. I live in Hawaii but I could picture his face when he sat down to listen and watch the DVD. I told him once he watched the DVD he would be speaking in tongues. I knew he would lose his mind. I think Dex is the ballad master and there are some nice ballads on this DVD. You've Changed is one of my favorites. Buy this DVD! You will not be disappointed!
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Format: DVD
There have been many sax players during the short jazz history... few stand out.... Dexter is one of them...and except the trumpet in early years...sax probably is THE instrument associated with jazz after the 40's....picture a late night foggy night inside a smoked filled club...you see a musician playing a jazz ballad...well that's what you get in this DVD....

Dexter had come up right during the be-bop years...unlike the sax players before him who had one leg into swing era and one into the new be-bop...Dexter was all be-bop...and later hard-bop...

In my opinion there are very few sax players that can squize the juice out of a BALLAD and dexter was one of them...in this DVD..he does You've Changed and What's New...nobody can play the ballad quite like Dexter...on other upbeat tunes..he has a way of ..climbing the mood with layer after layer which you can see and hear it on this DVD...with great picture and amazing sound....lots of sax players' styles have been copied ..but you can't copy Dexter...you know it's him from 10-miles away..very definit staring note and ending note....he was the ultimate COOL DUDE....if someone says I like to hear or see a good vintage jazz DVD...this is it...buy it...!!

Watch this DVD..see how COOL this guy was....I have most of his CD's..and could not wait to get this DVD to see him in person..during the hight of his career. You get it all in this DVD...
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I own a just about every record Dexter Gordon has ever appeared on, and the tracks on this DVD go toe to toe with all of them. I can't believe the quality of sound and video accomplished on this production. I've already begun transcribing his solo from Ladybird! This DVD is a must have for Dexter fans.
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Topic From this Discussion
5-best ballad players in jazz...
Dexter Gordon, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan, Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins
Feb 6, 2008 by Michael S. Phillips |  See all 2 posts
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