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Dexter's licks

I'm carrying Dexter Gordon CDs in my car so that whenever I go somewhere, I can study his playing. Dexter has a well-defined vocabulary of licks. Some of them are almost signature licks. You hear the lick, you know it's Dexter (if you didn't already).

One lick that he uses a lot in uptempo tunes is, simply stated, a five note descending triad arpeggio. The first two notes are the top note, the second two are the middle note, and the last one is the bottom note. I don't want to say fifth, third and root, because the triad is not always that voicing against the current chord. The lick starts on the downbeat. The first two notes are eighth notes and the next three are an eighth note triad with the third note of the triad accented and tied to a quarter note. The fourth beat is usually a rest. Got that?

The interesting thing is where Dexter chooses to use this lick. It comes when you least expect it. Other times you can almost guess that he's going to play it. Sometimes he starts to use it and then breaks off and does something else. But you hear it a lot in his playing. Someday soon I'm going to bring the CDs into the studio and write down the places--harmonic and rhythmic contexts--where he uses it. (By the time I get to my destination I've forgotten all that.)

So, today I was listening to some Sonny Stitt. There in the middle of one of his solos was Dexter's lick. The two players being from the same generation, I wonder who said it first. Or whether they both picked it up from another player.

Dexter has another more complex lick that he repeats a lot. I can almost hear it in my head but need to transcribe it from a recording to get it down.
 
I'd like to check that lick out. Could you tell us the tune and album and maybe at what point in the tune? If I understand you correctly you said it is a 5 note lick, all 8th notes with the first note starting on the downbeat and the last one tied to a quarter note. I have trouble visualizing that because wouldn't the 5th note be on the downbeat so why would it be tied to a quarter note unless the 5th note was on an off beat?
 
beat 1: two eighth notes.
beat 2: eighth-note triplet. The last note of the triplet is tied to...
beat 3: quarter note
beat 4: quarter-note rest

This is how I remember the lick. Sometimes, instead of a quarter note, beat 3 begins the lick again with three different notes, typically lower than the first lick.

I'll have to bring the CD in from the car and look for an example. The CD is "The Best of Dexter Gordon," and I think you can hear the lick in "Society Red."
 
I've got that tune so will check it out. One common lick that I'm pretty sure both players used is A F D Bb (in key of F).
 
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