On Wednesday, 26th October 2022: “Dexterity”: The Music of Dexter Gordon £18.

Vasilis Xenopoulos Tenor Sax

Ross Stanley Piano

Dario Di Lecce Double Bass

Steve Brown Drums

“I loved his playing before lockdown, but now he’s even more confident, bursting with enthusiasm and much, much stronger – he really holds the stage. Without doubt a 5 star evening!”

– Trevor Bannister, The Jazz Mann

Dexter Gordon was a true colossus of 6’ 6” whose stature as a tenor saxophonist and composer matched his massive frame; a sharp sense of outfitting, a smart choice of hats and an engaging personality completed his persona as the ‘cool hipster’.  He emerged as an important and influential soloist in the Bebop revolution of the late-1940s.  After a period in the 1950s when his promise was decimated by narcotics and Dexter spent most of his time in various ‘places of correction’, the 1960s saw his renaissance and a return to the recording studio for the Blue Note and Prestige labels. He made his home in Europe for fourteen years, before returning to the US.  He died fourteen years later leaving an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to hear him play in person and countless more who discovered his music from his vast legacy of recordings.

Vasilis Xenopoulos was one such young musician who fell under Dexter’s spell, saving his hard-earned pocket money to buy the precious albums that would influence his playing. He has made a significant reputation for himself on the international jazz scene, forming partnerships that have stood the test of time.

Acknowledging Gordon as one of his early influences, Vasilis in no way attempts to emulate his hero but plays Dexter’s music in a totally convincing manner that is at once a fitting tribute and also hard bop not of the fifties but brought right up to date. For this latest project, he retains the services of bassist Dario Di Lecce and Steve Brown on drums from XPQ with the addition of the wonderful Ross Stanley on piano.

“All-in-all, this is top-notch hard bop played with authority, authenticity and conviction.  The desire to communicate with the audience is clearly in the mind of all concerned.”

Jazz Views

 

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