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Saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1923–1990) was one of the most influential instrumentalists of the bop era, and a trailblazer of West Coast jazz.

Known for his powerful and expressive playing style, Gordon embodied the essence of bebop and hard bop. His technical brilliance, a deep sense of swing and towering sound made him the go-to guy for everyone from Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell. After signing with Blue Note, splitting his time between L.A. and New York, Gordon moved to Europe for 14 years in the 1960s. In 1976 he returned to the United States for good. In 1986, his career was once again rejuvenated when he played the leading role in the motion picture “Round Midnight”.