BILL DIXON

Avant-Garde Jazz • United States
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One of the seminal free jazz figures, Bill Dixon made his mark as a player, organizer, and educator in a career that spanned more than 50 years. Dixon was a jaggedly lyrical trumpeter -- his delivery was as vocalic as that of any free jazz trumpeter except perhaps Lester Bowie. As an improviser, he was somewhat similar in temperament to Ornette Coleman, yet his compositional style differed greatly from the altoist. Dixon's work featured open space, wide intervals that did not imply a specific key or mode, and dark backdrops owing to the use of two or more double bassists. His art was eminently thoughtful even as it can be viscerally exciting.

Dixon grew up in New York City. His first studies were in painting. He didn't become a musician until he was discharged from the Navy following World War II. Dixon met Cecil Taylor in 1951 and the two
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BILL DIXON Discography

BILL DIXON albums / top albums

BILL DIXON Intents & Purposes album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Intents & Purposes
Avant-Garde Jazz 1967
BILL DIXON Bill Dixon in Italy - Volume 1 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Bill Dixon in Italy - Volume 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
BILL DIXON Bill Dixon in Italy - Volume 2 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Bill Dixon in Italy - Volume 2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
BILL DIXON November 1981 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
November 1981
Avant-Garde Jazz 1982
BILL DIXON 1982 Edizioni Ferrari album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1982 Edizioni Ferrari
Avant-Garde Jazz 1982
BILL DIXON Son Of Sisyphus album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Son Of Sisyphus
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
BILL DIXON Vade Mecum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vade Mecum
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
BILL DIXON Vade Mecum 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vade Mecum 2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
BILL DIXON Papyrus Vol. 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Papyrus Vol. 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
BILL DIXON Papyrus, Volume II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Papyrus, Volume II
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
BILL DIXON Odyssey album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Odyssey
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
BILL DIXON Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
BILL DIXON Tapestries For Small Orchestra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tapestries For Small Orchestra
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
BILL DIXON Bill Dixon / Aaron Siegel / Ben Hall : Weight / Counterweight album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bill Dixon / Aaron Siegel / Ben Hall : Weight / Counterweight
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
BILL DIXON Bill Dixon & Cecil Taylor : Duets 1992 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bill Dixon & Cecil Taylor : Duets 1992
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

BILL DIXON EPs & splits

BILL DIXON Bill Dixon 7-Tette/ Archie Shepp & The New York Contemporary 5 (aka Consequences) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bill Dixon 7-Tette/ Archie Shepp & The New York Contemporary 5 (aka Consequences)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1964

BILL DIXON live albums

BILL DIXON Considerations 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Considerations 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
BILL DIXON Considerations 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Considerations 2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
BILL DIXON Music For Solo Trumpet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music For Solo Trumpet
Avant-Garde Jazz 1985
BILL DIXON Thoughts album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thoughts
Avant-Garde Jazz 1987
BILL DIXON Berlin Abbozzi album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Berlin Abbozzi
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
BILL DIXON 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
BILL DIXON Envoi album cover 4.04 | 3 ratings
Envoi
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011

BILL DIXON demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BILL DIXON re-issues & compilations

BILL DIXON Opium (with Franz Koglmann / Steve Lacy) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Opium (with Franz Koglmann / Steve Lacy)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
BILL DIXON The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010

BILL DIXON singles (0)

BILL DIXON movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

BILL DIXON Reviews

BILL DIXON Envoi

Live album · 2011 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Ricochet
I'm now discovering, with the feeling that he could soon become one of my favourites in free-jazz, someone no longer among us. There's no real guilty feeling in that, it might simply be the new affinity driving me crazy. I do actually remember a collaboration of his with Exploding Star Orchestra, back in 2008. Let's also not forget he was one of Cecil's conquistadors. But aside from that, there's nothing left for me to do but take a turn at all his own works, maybe even d'al fine a capo.

Envoi is the recording of Dixon's very last concert, played less than a month before passing away, at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, Canada. There's an epilogue at the end of the two musical sets - which I mistrust for its intentional posthumous character - final thoughts adressed to the folks, spoken wearily and with heavy pausing: ”It is not so easy trying to attempt doing what you wanted to do ... in front of people who know what they would like for you to do ... so ... one does one's best, always .... and one hopes for the best ... always. I thank you”.

This sort of resolve with one's self and his art is not quite what I sense in the music as well. Not to be misunderstood, I don't think this is a tragic bop or a portent requiem, instead just incredibly affecting. Both opposite dimensions of this music are heartbreaking: either sore seething, in search of the tuned sound or the lively melody, either high, eclatant bursts. There's an extraordinary moment somewhere in the first section, where the brass would almost attempt Strauss' iconic hymn from Zarathustra, but tire after the first two notes of the grand arpeggio and then regress, break the wave into dissonances. Second section is even darker, beginning quite "barbaro", but shattering and diminishing bit by bit.

The band is the same from the less passionate and explorative Tapestries (Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Warren Smith, among others), so Envoi also remains a genuine free-jazz concert, with powerful blasts and subtle rumbling.

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