Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Gordon, Frank

Gordon, Frank, trumpeter, composer; b. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 27 September 1938.

After graduating from Milwaukee's North Division High School in Jan 1957 he went to N.Y.C. for a few months, then to Milwaukee for a few months and then back to N.Y.C. to study with Donald Byrd who, along with Cannonball Adderley convinced him to go back to Milwaukee and enroll in Wisconsin Univ. in 1963-6. He moved to Chicago c. 1966 and enrolled in Roosevelt Univ., where he completed his B.A. in 1970. He earned an M.A. at Governors State University in Park Forest, Ill. in 1977. During these years in Chicago he became an AACM member and also studied privately with Bunky Green, Donald Byrd, Eddie Harris, and Muhal Richard Abrams (the latter continuing on and off into 1985).

He moved to N.Y.C. in 1976 to join the Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Band. He has recorded and toured America, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Cuba with Lena Horne, Illinois Jacquet, the Charli Persip band, Art Blakey, Muhal Richard Abrams, David Murray, Hank Mobley, Charlie Haden, Clifford Jordan, Quincy Jones, Eddie Harris, the Duke Ellington band, Sam Rivers, and with his own groups. He won four NEA grants to present concerts of his music including one with 16 strings at Merkin Hall, Manhattan, in 1988. In November 1997 three of his compositions, which were commissioned by the AACM, were premiered by the S.E.M. String Ensemble in N.Y. He has taught trumpet since (1992) at Rutgers University in Newark, and at the New School,  Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps, and in public schools. He was a founding member of Ebony Brass. He also typesets music professionally on computer and his music notation appears in books of Lewis Porter, Jackie McLean and others. In 1999 he moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he has taught music appreciation at Armstrong Atlantic State University.

He appears in the films Texas Tenor: The Illinois Jacquet Story; the Cotton Club; Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Live at the Domicile; Lena Horne on Broadway.

Recordings:
Clarion Echoes (1985); Max Roach and the So What Brass Quintet; Ebony Brass Quintet: Brand New Bag; Eddie Harris: Excursions; Charli Persip: Superband, Superband II; Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra: It Only Happens Every Time, Live in Munich; Muhal Richard Abrams: Hearinga Suite

Bibliography:
A transcription of Frank Gordon's solo on  "Kera's Dance" from the album "Hear, Sense and Feel"  (The Awakening ), Downbeat, 4/26/73

Contact information:
Frank Gordon
315 E. 60th Street
Savannah, Ga. 31405
(912) 303-9706
Fax  (912) 303-9728
e mail: yogo99@earthlink.net

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