The Dexter Gordon Dukoff Mystery Solved!

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Dexter Gordon played on a Conn 10m and a Dukoff BD Hollywood tenor saxophone mouthpiece during the Blue Note era until the mid-sixties. Bobby Dukoff made two different BD Hollywood tenor sax mouthpiece models during this time: a medium chamber and a large chamber. Please see:

http://www.theowanne.com/mouthpieces101/Duckoff.php.

There has always been a huge debate about which model BD Dukoff Dexter Played. 

Jean Philippe Dubrun recently contacted me and shared that he has acquired a Dukoff BD Hollywood tenor mouthpiece stamped “DG Special” on the side. It’s a 6* tip opening, serial number V173. It has the large chamber, rounded inner side walls and a slight rollover baffle, so is definitely the large chamber BD Hollywood produced in 1949 which was made in two halves silver soldered together.

Could this be a ‘Dexter Gordon’ model? We believe it is, and if so, this answers the long time debate. Indeed, it seems Dexter played the large chamber Dukoff! Very Cool….and snicker…I always suspected as much!

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7 Responses to “The Dexter Gordon Dukoff Mystery Solved!”

  1. Ed Zentera Says:

    Dexter’s tone has always come across to me as (pardon the subjective term) “honest”. While there’s certainly a time and place and NEED for the power and projection of a high baffle on tenor, I’d take a low-baffled large-chambered piece and a good sound man over a paint-peeler any day.

  2. Jordan Says:

    I’m with you, Ed! Dexter was my first tenor hero, and it was all about his sound. I agree with you that the BD/Link concept is ideal for those of us who value beauty and expression of sound over volume and projection. From there it’s just a matter of finding the right one- the “missing Link” as Bob Sheppard used to say to me.

  3. Dan Daigle Says:

    In the 1960’s – Dexter recorded “Doin’ Allright” on Blue Note records – – He was joined by Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and a great rhythm section – – Horace Parlan-Piano – – George Tucker-Bass – – Al Harewood-Drums.

    On the main tune – – I Was Doin’ All Right – – Dexter gave us that beautiful sound and great technique.

    He was my man.

  4. u1amo01 Says:

    Saxophonistenkrankheit (2)…

    – Fortsetzung von Saxophonistenkrankheit – Die Ankündigung der Firma Drake, demnächst eine Kopie des Mundstücks von Dexter Gordon auf den Markt zu bringen, hat mich beschäftigt. Dabei sind durch Internetrecherchen die folgenden Ergebnisse z…

  5. donzAxe Says:

    Problem is that a paint peelers are cheap. Dexters sound ,inventiveness and musical knowledge-costs a lifetime of hard work.

  6. Thirdeye Says:

    Dexter describes it in his own words under this link.

    http://www.jazzprofessional.com/interviews/Dexter%20Gordon_1962_2.htm

    His setup was smaller and softer than one might think.

  7. Thirdeye Says:

    The link in my previous post is dead, but there’s an downloadable PDF of a 1962 interview Dexter did with Les Tomkins.

    “I’ve made very few changes in mouthpieces and reeds. During the time of ‘The Chase,’ I had an Otto Link mouthpiece which had been made for me and I used that until it got stolen around ‘52 or so. That’s when I got the mouthpiece I have now. However, they’re
    both metal mouthpieces. So in the last 17 or 18 years or so I guess I’ve had just the two mouthpieces.I use a medium strength reed. I’ve been using a La Voz for several years. It’s made in California and I think it’s the best reed on the market myself. It’s pretty
    consistent.”

    “I kinda feel sorry for guys that constantly go through the mouthpiece and reed scene. I wonder how they do it. It must be a real panic scene. Naturally the mouthpiece, the reed and the horn you use are all very essential, but basically your tone, your sound is inside of you. You hear it before you produce it. The real ingredient of the sound is within the individual the way he hears things.”

    “Actually this present mouthpiece of mine is relatively small. It’s just medium–size—a five–star. It’s been straightened out a little bit, but it’s not a big mouthpiece. It blows very free and gets a nice substantial sound. Most people are surprised because they think it’s a much larger mouthpiece than it is. They think it’s maybe an eight or nine or something like that, but it’s not. So that’s why I say it’s the projection that counts.”

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