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 Parker, Dizzy 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.
Gordon's sound was commonly characterized as being "large" and spacious and he had a tendency to play behind the beat. He was famous for humorously inserting musical quotes into his solos. One of his major influences was Lester Young. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Rollins and Coltrane, in turn, influenced Gordon's playing as he explored hard bop and modal playing during the 1960s.
"Laura" is a 1945 popular song. The music was composed by David Raksin for the 1944 movie Laura starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews, and is heard frequently in the movie. The lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer after the film had made the tune popular. According to Mercer, he had not yet seen the movie when he wrote the lyrics, but was aware that it was a romantic, somewhat haunting story.
The song has become a jazz standard, with more than 400 known recordings. Some of the best-known versions are by Woody Herman, Johnny Johnston, Emil Newman, David Rose, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Parker, J. J. Johnson, Frank Sinatra and Julie London (included on her 1955 debut album Julie Is Her Name, Vol. 1). The first 10 notes of the song are sometimes "quoted" during jazz solos, especially since Dizzy Gillespie did it during his "Perdido" solo at the famous Massey Hall concert in 1953.