Dexter Gordon: The Complete Prestige Recordings, due out tomorrow, includes the entirety of 15 albums that Gordon made for the label between 1965 and 1973. It also contains a live jam session recorded in 1950 and the 1960 album The Resurgence of Dexter Gordon, made for Jazzland just after Gordon was released from prison in 1960. Of 88 tracks, 17 are being issued for the first time.
Gordon played with Dizzy Gillespie in the mid 1940s and became the first prominent tenor saxophonist of the bebop era. He spent time in prison on drug charges in the 1950s, and then after returning to music in the 1960s, moved to France, where he lived and recorded until 1976. When he returned to the United States, he was hailed as an elder statesman of jazz, playing to sold-out crowds until his health deteriorated in the early 1980s.
In 1986, he starred in Bertrand Tavernier's film Round Midnight, a portrait of an expatriate jazz musician in Paris that drew upon the lives of Bud Powell and Lester Young as well as his own. Gordon was nominated for an Academy Award, and his performance sparked another wave of popularity. He died in 1990.