MODA Entertainment’s Licensebox, has signed a long term exclusive agreement with Dex Music to represent the name, likeness and music of Dexter Gordon, legendary jazz saxophonist, composer and Oscar-nominee, for purposes of marketing, merchandising & licensing.
Dexter Gordon, whose career spanned more than four decades (1940s-1980s), is highly regarded as one of the major innovators of modern jazz. The distinction and elegance of his persona can be seen in such classic visual works as Herman Leonard’s photo at the Royal Roost in New York City in 1948; and the magnitude of his influence can be heard throughout the many disparate styles that characterize American popular music and culture to date.
Gordon was born in Los Angeles, California in 1923. As a teenager, he joined the Lionel Hampton Band and soon after went on to perform and record with Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Billy Eckstine, and Dizzy Gillespie. In the 1960s, he lived and recorded in Europe, finally settling in Copenhagen, Denmark. Gordon also spent significant time living and performing in Paris, France (and also spoke and read in French). In the late 1970s, he returned to the U.S. and helped regenerate an interest in jazz amongst musicians and fans, and helped re-stimulate the jazz business as a result. In 1986, Gordon was nominated for an Academy Award in Round Midnight (Warner Bros. 1986) as Best Actor in his leading role as Dale Turner, a fictional character loosely based on the late Bebop pianist Bud Powell. The film co-starred French actor Francois Cluzet, with several appearances made by Martin Scorsese.
Gordon is one of the major innovators of modern saxophone playing. He is revered for his originality, his profound knowledge of melody and harmony, and his captivating sense of lyricism (Gordon knew all the lyrics to the tunes he played). His rich, vibrant sound, unique phrasing, and predilection for humorous quotations also combined to create a highly distinct and recognizable style. Gordon has had a direct influence on most of the major saxophonists who followed him, and most significantly – the two leading tenor saxophonists of the succeeding generation, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. Gordon was later influenced in turn by Coltrane’s use of the soprano saxophone and adopted it as a result. Dexter Gordon recorded for Savoy, Blue Note, Prestige and Columbia Records, he appeared in the film Awakenings with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams, and received a feature role on Michael Mann’s hit TV series Crime Story. He Gordon played a Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone. He was named “musician of the year” by readers of Down Beat magazine in 1978 and 1980 and was elected into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1980
On behalf of Dex Music, the Dexter Gordon archive will be donated to the Library of Congress during mid-2009.
LICENSBOX a subsidiary of MODA Entertainment, Inc. is a broad-based merchandising and licensing company, which has a particularly strong presence in the Classic Hollywood and Golden Age of Hollywood sectors of the entertainment market. Key clients in this category include Duke Ellington, Greta Garbo, Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, Ida Lupino, George Raft, Loretta Young, amongst others.
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MODA Entertainment, Inc., headquartered in New York City, is a full service multi-media entertainment company involved in development, production, packaging, marketing, distributing, licensing in all on and offline media. MODA Entertainment’s fully owned subsidiaries include MODA Productions, MODA Publishing, LICENSEBOX, PUBLICITYBOX and ICONS.
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