Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blue Bossa (Dexter Gordon)

Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone

From Dexter Gordon’s “Biting the Apple” (1976).
Blue Bossa was written by bebop jazz trumpeter, singer and composer Kenny Dorham (1924-1972).
Dexter Gordon (1923-1990) was considered one of the first bebop tenor sax players. A famous photograph by Herman Leonard of Gordon smoking a cigarette during a set at the Royal Roost in New York City in 1948 is one of the most iconic images in the history of jazz (see YouTube performance above). Gordon's height was 6 feet 6 inches (about 198 cm), so he was also known as 'Long Tall Dexter'.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)

Bossa Nova jazz standard composed c. 1961 by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The English lyrics were written by Gene Lees. Corcovado is the name of a dramatic mountain that rises above Rio de Janeiro, atop which sits a statue of Christ. "Quiet Nights" is the title of Diana Krall's most recent album of bossa nova songs (2009).
Here performed by the multi-talented Queen Latifah, on her "Trav'lin' Light" CD.

And next the classic 1963 rendition by saxophonist Stan Getz, Tom Jobim, João Gilberto and vocalist Astrud Gilberto. Astrud had never sung professionally before this album, which launched her career. She received the "Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement" in 1992 and was inducted into the "International Latin Music Hall of Fame" in 2002.