Photo by Frank Kramer
May 29, 1967 |
Waynesboro, Georgia, U.S.
|Labels||WJ3, Chesky, Criss Cross|
|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 sings and plays didgeridoo, trumpet, tuba, and piano. His nickname is "Pinecone".
Early life and education
Gordon was born in Waynesboro, Georgia into a religious and musical background that influenced the early direction of his music. His father, Lucius Gordon (1936–1997), was a church organist at several churches in Burke County, Georgia and a classical pianist and teacher. Gordon took an interest in jazz in 1980 when he was thirteen, while listening to jazz records inherited from his great-aunt. The collection included a five-LP 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 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 melody composed in 1971 by Donald Joseph Voegeli (1920–2009).
He has recently gained more worldwide popularity, being featured in South Australia's Generations In Jazz 2016 and 2017, playing alongside artists such as James Morrison, Jazzmeia Horn, Gordon Goodwin and Ross Irwin among others.
Blues Back Records
Blues Back Records was an American independent jazz label founded by Gordon in 2006, coinciding with the release of his album Rhythm on My Mind, a collaboration with bassist Jay Leonhart. His desire for artistic control was the impetus for creating Blues Back. During a meeting with Leonhart, with Gordon's "I Want My Blues Back" playing in the background, the two laughed and decided on the name for the company. Blues Back produced other artists who met Gordon's criteria for originality. The company became inactive in 2011.
- Bone Structure (Atlantic, 1996)
- Slidin' Home (Nagel-Heyer, 1999)
- Blues of Summer (Nagel-Heyer, 2000)
- The Search (Nagel-Heyer, 2000)
- The Gospel Truth (Criss Cross, 2000)
- What You Dealin' With (Criss Cross, 2001)
- We (Nagel-Heyerr, 2002)
- United Soul Experience (Criss Cross, 2002)
- The Joyride (Nagel-Heyer, 2003)
- Dig This!! (Criss Cross, 2003)
- In the Cross (Criss Cross, 2004)
- Cone's Coup (Criss Cross, 2006)
- Standards Only (Nagel-Heyer, 2006)
- This Rhythm on My Mind (Blues Back, 2006)
- A Tribute to Storyville (Sidney Bechet Society, 2007)
- We, Vol. 2 (WJ3, 2007)
- BloozBluzeBlues, Vol. One (Blues Back, 2007)
- Boss Bones (Criss Cross, 2008)
- You and I (Blues Back, 2008)
- I'm Glad There is You (Blues Back, 2010)
- Cone and T-Staff (Criss Cross, 2010)
- Word (Blues Back, 2012)
- Dreams of New Orleans (Chesky, 2012)
- The Intimate Ellington: Ballads & Blues (Criss Cross, 2013)
- Signature Series (2014)
- Somebody New (2015)
- Within These Gates of Mine (2016)
- Hello Pops!: Tribute to Louis Armstrong (2016)
- "The Co-Op" (Brown Brothers Recordings 2017)
With John Allred
- John Allred & Wycliffe Gordon: Head to Head (Arbors, 2002)
With Bob Kindred
- Bob Kindred Trio Live at Cafe Loup (Conawago, 2006)
With Marcus Roberts
With Randy Sandke
- The Music of Bob Haggart Featuring His Porgy and Bess Arrangements (Arbors, 2002)
With Maurice Hines
- Maurice Hines: To Nat King Cole With Love (Arbors, 2006)
With Ron Westray
- Wycliffe Gordon & Ron Westray: Bone Structure (Atlantic Jazz, 1996)
With Chip White
- Double Dedication
- More Dedications
- Personal Dedications & Percussive Tributes
- The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, Vol. 2, 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.
- "Wycliffe Gordon | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 December 2016.