Photo by C. Daniel Dawson
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 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.
For this event, Maxine will be in conversation with Jake Lamar. Jake was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and has lived in Paris since 1993. He is the author of a memoir, seven novels, numerous essays, reviews and short stories, and a play. His most recent work, Viper’s Dream, is both a crime novel and a radio drama, set in the jazz world of Harlem between 1936 and 1961.
Photo by Ulf Anderson
Evenings with Authors and other weeknight programs at the Library are free and open to the public (except as noted) thanks to support from the Annenberg Foundation, our members, and those who attend programs. There is a suggested donation of ten euros for non-members.