Photo by Frank Kramer
|Birth name||Wycliffe Gordon|
|Also known as||Pine Cone|
|Born||May 29, 1967|
|Instruments||trombone, didgeridoo, also trumpet, tuba, Piano and vocals|
|Associated acts||Randy Sandke, Maurice Hines, Wynton Marsalis|
Wycliffe A. Gordon (born May 29, 1967) is an American jazz trombonist, arranger, composer, band leader, and music educator at the collegiate-conservatory level. Gordon also plays didgeridoo, trumpet, tuba, piano, and sings.
Early life and education
Gordon was born in Waynesboro, Georgia into a strongly religious and musical background that influenced the early direction of his music. His father, Lucius Gordon (1936–1997), had been a church organist at several churches in Burke County, Georgia as well as a classical pianist and teacher. Gordon became particularly inspired in jazz in 1980, at age thirteen, listening to jazz recordings inherited from his great aunt. The collection included a five-LP jazz anthology produced by Sony-Columbia. In particular, he was drawn to musicians like Louis Armstrong and the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens At that age, he was attending Sego Junior High School in Augusta, Georgia, where his band director was trombonist Don Milford. Gordon graduated in 1985 from Butler High School in Augusta. He performed in New York City as part of the McDonald's High School All-American Band. He then studied music at Florida A&M where he played in (among things) the marching band.
His early works as a professional were with Wynton Marsalis, but in recent years he has expanded beyond swing and has experimented with new instruments. The strongest example of this might be The Search where he plays didgeridoo and covers Thelonious Monk songs. He has also played Gospel music.
In 1995, Gordon arranged and orchestrated the theme song for NPR's All Things Considered. Gordon's arrangement and orchestration is the third version of the widely recognized melody composed in 1971 by Donald Joseph Voegeli (1920–2009).
Blues Back Records was an American independent jazz label founded by Gordon in 2006 — coinciding with the release of his Rhythm On My Mind album, a collaboration with bassist Jay Leonhart. His desire for full artistic control was the impetus for creating Blues Back. It was during a meeting with Leonhart while Gordon composition "I Want My Blues Back" played in the background, that the two laughed and decided on the name for the company. BluesBack had produced other artists in Wycliffe's universe who met Gordon's criteria for originality. The company, Blues Back Records, Inc., a New York corporation, became inactive in 2011.
- Slidin' Home. Nagel Heyer. 1999. OCLC 44191129
- The Search. Nagel Heyer. 2000. OCLC 47082174
- The Gospel Truth. Criss Cross Records. 2000. OCLC 47662209
- What You Dealin' With. Criss Cross Records. 2001. OCLC 51836480
- United Soul Experience. Criss Cross Records. 2002. OCLC 52482236
- We [with Eric Reed (piano)] Nagel Heyer. 2002.
- Dig This! Criss Cross Records. 2003. OCLC 53345078
- In The Cross. Criss Cross Records. 2004. OCLC 60345569
- Cone's Coup. Criss Cross Records. 2006. OCLC 76952955
- A Tribute to Storyville. Sidney Bechet Society. 2006.
- This Rhythm on My Mind. [with Jay Leonhart (bass)] Blues Back Records. 2006. OCLC 94587589
- We 2. [with Eric Reed (piano, vocal)] WJ3 Records. 2007. OCLC 181168761
- Bloozbluzeblues. Blues Back Records. 2007.
- Boss Bones. Criss Cross Records. 2009. OCLC 235523653
- Cone and T-Staff. Criss Cross Records. 2010. OCLC 489036524
- The Word. Blues Back Records. 2011.
- Hello Pops, a tribute to Louie Armstrong. Blues Back Records. 2011.
- Dreams of New Orleans. Chesky Records. 2012. OCLC 809623621
- The Intimate Ellington / Ballads and Blues. Criss Cross Records. 2013.
With John Allred
With Marcus Roberts
With Randy Sandke
- The Music of Bob Haggart Featuring His Porgy and Bess Arrangements. Arbors Records 2002. OCLC 52353041
With Maurice Hines
With Ron Westray
With Chip White
- Double Dedication
- More Dedications
- Personal Dedications & Percussive Tributes
- The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, Vol. 2 (of three volumes), edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld, London: Macmillan Publishers (2002) OCLC 46956628
- Berger, Ed (May 2006). "Wycliffe Gordon: The Beautiful Soul of...". Jazz Times. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- All About Jazz
- Theme Music, 30th Anniversary Celebration of All Things Considered, NPR
- Berlanga-Ryan, Esther. Interview — "Wycliffe Gordon: What This is All About", All About Jazz, 1 September 2010.