“What I'm doing, I prefer to call that jazz, because it is a beautiful word - I love it.” - Dexter Gordon
Author Talk & Book Signing with Maxine Gordon
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.”
Dexter Gordon—the icon—is the Dexter who is now known and beloved and celebrated, on albums and on film and in jazz lore—even in a street named for him in Copenhagen. But this image of the cool jazzman fails to come to terms with the three-dimensional man full of humor and wisdom, a figure who struggled to reconcile being both a creative outsider who broke the rules and a comforting insider who was a son, father, husband, and world citizen. This essential book is an attempt to fill in the gaps, the gaps created by our misperceptions, but also the gaps left by Dexter himself.
The author 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.
Thursday, September 12, 2019 6:30PM
Footnote Coffee & Cocktails 634 W 4th Street Suite 120 Winston-Salem, NC
Q&A and book signing will follow the presentation. Book will be available for purchase.
Admission is free. RSVP Strongly Encouraged
Reserved seating is available with Advance Book Purchase from Bookmarks online and bookstore.
Click on the RSVP button below to reserve seating.
Book Signing will be held next door at Bookmarks Bookstore 634 W 4th Street Suite 110 Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Footnote and Bookmarks are accessible from 4th Street through the breezeway between Dominos Pizza and Design Archives, and the parking lot on Holly Avenue.
Throughout the book, Maxine provides rich descriptions of people, places, and events, often quoting from Dexter. Through her meticulous research, new information about him emerges. . . While meticulous about details, the author is also a good storyteller, so, aside from its scholarly discipline, the book is intriguing and leads the reader forward like an absorbing detective novel. — All About Jazz