Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.” 

Dexter Gordon the icon is the Dexter beloved and celebrated on albums, on film, and in jazz lore - even in a street named for him in Copenhagen. But this image of the cool jazzman fails to come to terms with the multidimensional man full of humor and wisdom, a figure who struggled to reconcile being both a creative outsider who broke the rules and a comforting insider who was a son, father, husband, and world citizen. This essential book is an attempt to fill in the gaps created by our misperceptions as well as the gaps left by Dexter himself.

©2018 The Regents of the University of California (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Sophisticated Giant

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best!!

Mrs. Gordon, THANK YOU! This was one of the best bios I have ever read about an artist. Totally loved all the references and detail on sessions, people, and Mr. Gordon's highs and lows. I may have to listen again and order the book for the photos!! I pulled out my documentaries on Miles and 'Trane to watch for the umpteenth time along with 'Round Midnight. Enjoy everyone and stay safe!!! -TGH

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pros and Cons
  • Pros and Cons
  • 03-07-20

Great on Dexter - needs editing down, I think

My ratings are a bit harsh because I really enjoyed this book and the reading. But I’d have preferred the author herself as the main narrator for the audio book. This reader couldn’t convey the feelings convincingly, I felt. Also the text could do with some editing- quite a bit of repetition, the introduction in particular goes on and on without getting to the story for too long. The author’s son’s afterword is obviously heartfelt, but it’d be best as a private letter to his mom - I don’t want to sound mean, but it’s overwritten and is extraneous here. I’m picking fault though - I’ll probably buy the paper book at some point and read it again. I liked it.