Archive for John Gordon

John Gordons’ Trombone Inc. feat. Al Grey

Posted in clips, documents with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by crownpropeller

So it goes! Right after finishing this blog post about trombonist John Gordon, I discovered that there is a clip showing more of Gordon in Otto’s archives. This one was filmed in autumn 1988 and shows Gordon with the group Trombone Incorporated, which he co-led with trombonist Fred Joiner from Philadelphia. The band’s concept was to add a “name” trombonist to get more people to listen. Among the “third” trombonists were people like Slide Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Lou Blackburn.

Lafayette Harris, the band’s pianist in 1988, was so nice as to send me pictures of the first Trombones Incorporated LP, No Tricks, No Gimmicks (Beam International LP T1881), where the personnel consisted of Fred Joiner, John Gordon, Benny Powell (tb) Kenny Barron (p) Leon Dorsey (b) Jimmy Ford (d) and Sam Turner (perc).

For their european concerts in autumn 1988, the third trombonist was the legendary Al Grey. Otto caught this band at the small Q4 jazz club in Rheinfelden – the exact date is unfortunately not known to me (I might find it out though).

So (after a short untitled introduction) you get the Trombones Incorporated playing John Gordon’s composition Landscape which to my knowledge has never been issued commercially.

According to Lafayette Harris jr. (check his website here) the band members on this gig were Fred Joiner, John Gordon, Al Grey (tb) Lafayette Harris jr. (p) Tyrone Brown (b) and Jimmy Ford (dr).

Lafayette also send me an invitation to a memory event in honor of John Gordon some days after his passing on November 27, 2003.

In my opinion it’s really a pity that John Gordon is not better known.


John Gordon: N.Y.C. Trombone Master

Posted in clips, documents with tags , , , , on April 2, 2012 by crownpropeller

From time to time my friend Otto published little booklets and leaflets on musicians close to his heart. Since he had a strong interest in the not-too-well-known names who nonetheless had something special to offer, these booklets are very interesting documents, as they often contain information that might not have been published elsewhere.

One fine example is “John Gordon: N.Y.C. Trombone Master”, the little book dedicated to the career of trombonist John Gordon (1939–2003) that Otto produced in 1982. I decided to scan the whole booklet and put it up here, as it gives a fascinating insight to the everyday work of your average first -class jazz musician hustling in N.Y.C in the 1970s and 1980s.

But first, so you will know whom this booklet is about, here is a clip showing Lionel Hampton’s orchestra in Nice in summer 1978. Solos are by Lionel Hampton (vib), Jimmy Maxwell, John Gordon, Doc Cheatham, Curtis Fuller, Earl Warren and Hampton again (this time on drums).

And here is the track “No Tricks, No Gimmicks” from Gordon’s 1975 Strata East LP “Step by Step”, which you may want to listen to while skimming through the booklet:

And here is the booklet. Just click on one of the pages, a clickable gallery will pop up. Enjoy!