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Chuck Johnson Quintet - Hermosa Beach,. CA

  • The Lighthouse Cafe 30 Pier Ave Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 (map)

Tribute to Dexter Gordon

@ The Legendary Lighthouse Cafe

Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He was among the earliest tenor players to adapt the bebop musical language of people such as Charlie ParkerDizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell to the instrument. Gordon's height was 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm), so he was also known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant". His studio and live performance career spanned over 40 years.

Chuck Johnson = Saxes

James 'Smitty' Smith = Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Piano - Koji Ono

Trevor Ware = Bass

Roy McCurdy = Drums

The Lighthouse Cafe

They operate in a long, low, oblong, dimly lit room with an informal, easy atmosphere for shirt-sleeve jazz. At one end are photos of Stan Kenton (most of this group including leader Rumsey are ex-Kentonites), June Christy and other artists. At the other is a green-lit clock and a couple of red glowing ship's lanterns.

Along the walls are a series of impressionistic paintings done in bas-relief with Plaster of Paris. They have such titles as "How Can I Understand You If You Don't Say What I Already Know Blues?" "Some Days I Feel Aggressive" and "Who's Got The Melody?"

Overhead, above a false ceiling of open crossed batting strips, are a set of four, newly installed, giant hi-fidelity speakers. Their mission is to carry accurate sound without distortion to every far corner of the room. They do.

The patrons sit in a semicircle at low tables around the small bandstand with its mirrored back, or on cushioned stools at the bar which runs the length of the room on the opposite side.

Very few patrons are from the Hermosa Beach vicinity. They're from all over the L.A. area. A great many of the UCLA, SC and L.A. City College crowd headquarter here, which may account for the uncommonly high percentage of classy, good-looking girls. The average age is in the mid-20s, but there are older and younger steady patrons.

Earlier Event: February 26
David Arnay Duo - Pasadena, CA
Later Event: March 1
Molly Ringwald - New York, NY