Maxine Gordon on the life and legacy of Jazz legend Dexter Gordon
Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
celebrating the release of
Sophisticated Giant:The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon
by Maxine Gordon (Author), Farah Jasmine Griffin (Foreword), Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III (Afterword)
published by University of California Press
Sophisticated Giant presents the life and legacy of tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1923–1990), one of the major innovators of modern jazz. In a context of biography, history, and memoir, Maxine Gordon has completed the book that her late husband began, weaving his "solo" turns with her voice and a chorus of voices from past and present. Reading like a jazz composition, the blend of research, anecdote, and a selection of Dexter's personal letters reflects his colorful life and legendary times. It is clear why the celebrated trumpet genius Dizzy Gillespie said to Dexter, "Man, you ought to leave your karma to science."
Maxine Gordon is an independent scholar with a lifetime career working with jazz musicians. As an oral historian and archivist in the fields of jazz and African American cultural history, Sophisticated Giant fulfills the promise she made to her late husband, jazz saxophonist and Academy Award-nominated actor Dexter Gordon, to complete his biography.