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How loud was Dexter Gordon? I mean he sounds really loud on recordings. Anybody see him live?
 

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I saw Dex about six or sever times. I never thought of his sound as loud but rather as big. Really big. It filled the room at all volumes. The smallest venue was the Village Vanguard and it was just heaven seeing him there with Mingus, Jackie McLean, Lionel Hampton and others in the audience.
 

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I saw Dex about six or sever times. I never thought of his sound as loud but rather as big. Really big. It filled the room at all volumes. The smallest venue was the Village Vanguard and it was just heaven seeing him there with Mingus, Jackie McLean, Lionel Hampton and others in the audience.
Wow! Heaven, I bet. Lucky man.
 

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His sound was extraordinary. It was powerful and expressive and very dramatic. He always seemed relaxed and yet he played very deliberately. No matter how uptempo the tune he always seemed calm and patient and very in control of the time feel.

What a thrill it was to see him live, he was a natural showman and the energy was very electric when he played the Keystone Korner where I mostly saw him.
 

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I saw Dex about six or sever times. I never thought of his sound as loud but rather as big. Really big. It filled the room at all volumes. The smallest venue was the Village Vanguard and it was just heaven seeing him there with Mingus, Jackie McLean, Lionel Hampton and others in the audience.
Wow, that's quite amazing Jim! What year was it? Thanks for sharing the memory!
 

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I saw him at the Vanguard around 1976 when he had the band with Woody Shaw, Ronnie Mathews, Rufus Reid and Eddie Gladden. The night I saw him at the Vanguard , Woody was there but Benny Bailey was visiting from Europe and he played the whole night instead of Woody. It was just so happening and so thrilling to see all those great musicians crowded in to play and to listen. The feeling in that place was a part of jazz in the same way the music itself is.
 

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What a thrill it was to see him live, he was a natural showman and the energy was very electric when he played the Keystone Korner where I mostly saw him.
I also saw him at Keystone Korner, mid to late '70s I think it was. And yeah, fantastic tone quality and big full sound, even better than what comes across on the recordings. We were lucky to have caught him in live performance! Pretty much all the jazz greats that I saw playing live sounded even better than their recordings, at least in venues like Keystone Korner, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Mandrakes, Great American Music Hall, Both And Club, Jazz Workshop... all relatively small, fantastic venues in the Bay Area back then.
 

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Another reason for playing a smaller tip Link. Round and projects.
You wrote that before, but Dexter played a Link 8* later in his career (with Rico 3).

First time I saw him was in 1979 at the North Sea Jazzfestival here in NL, together with Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, Buddy Tate and Budd Johnson. He was a bit drunk, which made his timing even more behind the beat than normal, but his sound was strong and powerful and his playing fantastic (see >this< thread for a full registration of that concert). Saw him also in a quartet setting during the same festival and later in the 80's also a few more times, but his sound become a bit weaker in the later years due to his health condition (and I think he also had to change to a smaller tip Link).
 

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I'm pretty certain he was playing the 8* when I saw him, I remember reading or hearing that and really based on the sound as I remember it that would make more sense. But Dexter was a big powerful cat who could handle that setup easily.
 

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He was a bit drunk, which made his timing even more behind the beat than normal
That's it ... I'm hitting the liquor store asap !! :bluewink: :mrgreen:
 

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This isn't exactly an epiphany, but I'm pretty sure that 6'5" "Long Tall Dexter's" big sound was due in no small part to his proportionally large lung capacity.
 

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That's it ... I'm hitting the liquor store asap !! :bluewink: :mrgreen:
Could you grab a case or two for me while your there.
We could busk for small change out the front.
Actually better make that just a can judging by my playing a case is getting a bit hopeful.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This isn't exactly an epiphany, but I'm pretty sure that 6'5" "Long Tall Dexter's" big sound was due in no small part to his proportionally large lung capacity.
You might be right there.

Thanks for the stories guys. Nice to hear from lucky people that saw him live.
 
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