William Robert Dixon, 5 October 1925, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, USA. Though born of the generation that brought bebop to fruition, Dixon did not rise to prominence until the early 60s, when he emerged as one of the leading pioneers of the new music. He grew up in New York, started on trumpet at the age of 18, studied painting at Boston University and then attended the Hartnott School of Music (1946-51). In the 50s he freelanced in the New York area as a trumpeter and arranger, and struck up friendships with Cecil Taylor and, later, Archie Shepp, with whom he co-led a quartet and helped to found the New York Contemporary Five (which also featured Don Cherry, John Tchicai and J.C. Moses: Dixon himself never actually played with the group). In 1964 he organized the October Revolution - six nights of concerts by young avant gardists such as Taylor, Shepp, Roswell Rudd, Paul Bley, Milford Graves and the not-so-young Sun Ra - which is generally acknowledged as the...