b. 30 May 1939, USA. Gordon began playing trombone as a child and later studied formally at the Juilliard School Of Music in New York. He played professionally with various bands including several in the blues idiom and was also with Buddy Johnson. When he was 22 he joined Lionel Hampton where he remained for a year, then returned to his studies. For seven years he was with R&B star Lloyd Price whose musical director at the time was Slide Hampton. In 1962 he began a 20-year stint in Broadway pit bands, appearing also on many recordings on Motown Records. He found time for jazz engagements during this period, including spells with Clark Terry, Count Basie, Howard McGhee, Frank Foster and Lionel Hampton. He was a founder member of Trombones Incorporated (later known as Trombones Unlimited) and he also worked with Al Grey’s Trombone Summit. In the early 90s he played in bands led by Illinois Jacquet and he also toured and recorded with a trombone trio alongside Slide Hampton and Joshua Roseman. At this time Gordon was also an occasional member of Nancie Banks’ big band and of a trio, which included Curtis Fuller. An extremely gifted technician, Gordon plays with drive and enthusiasm and his work with other trombonists has helped improve the instrument’s following in the post-bop era after some years of neglect as a front-line jazz voice.
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