Farewell, Bill Dixon

Trumpeter Bill Dixon has died at age 84. I’m extremely grateful to have seen him several times in New York in recent years. And to have written about his final* release, Tapestries for Small Orchestra. (*My colleague Hank Shteamer notes that Dixon’s final release is the double LP Weight/Counterweight. Apologies.)

One performance I heard was with a quartet at the Baha’i Center. In between numbers, Dixon shared memories of hearing Dizzy Gillespie’s big band play “Things to Come” in the ’40s. He spoke of it as a life-changing event, a view of music rearranged into “a fantastic new order.” Dixon was anything but a bebopper, but he knew bebop was not “conservative” (see yesterday’s post).

Dixon also said things I can’t even paraphrase about his long career, and remarked, “You know, as they say, every dog has his day. Well, I’ve been a very good dog. And I’m going to have two days.”

God bless him and look after him.

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