photo by Paula Morin
No other performer on the scene today brings to life and pushes forward the great tradition of Rockin' American Saxophone like Sax Gordon.
From an early start in garage bands, church groups, jazz combos and big bands in northern California, Gordon graduated to work and record with Bay-Area Blues giant Johnny Heartsman. After relocating to the East coast, a regular gig with Little Joe Cook & the Thrillers was followed by five years of touring and recording with Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson which established Gordon on the international scene. With Luther's encouragement, Gordon continued to develop his signature style - wild and exciting sax inspired by Blues, Soul, Jazz, and Rock & Roll.
Gordon has recorded and toured internationally with Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Junior Watson, and Toni Lynn Washington as well as with the Duke Robillard Band with whom he also backed Blues and Swing greats Jimmy Witherspoon and Jay McShann on tours and recordings. Gordon has also toured internationally with Roomful of Blues, John Hammond, Sherman Robertson, and Soul legend Solomon Burke, while at home he has worked with a who's who of American Blues and Soul music greats including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Little Milton, Ben E. King, Hubert Sumlin, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), Johnny Johnson, Howard Tate, Martha Reeves, Mighty Sam McClain, Johnny Copeland, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds among others.
Gordon has filled the classic R&B sax role as a featured soloist on albums by legends such as Champion Jack Dupree, Rosco Gordon, Jimmy McGriff, Pinetop Perkins, Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy "T99" Nelson, and Charles Brown while modern masters have also benefitted from his unique sound - as heard on CDs by Kim Wilson, Bryan Lee, Paul Oscher, Jerry Portnoy, Watermelon Slim, Ron Levy, and David Maxwell. Now Gordon's unmistakable solos can be heard the albums of a new generation of American rockin' roots performers including Nick Moss, Diunna Greenleaf, Doug Deming, Tia Carroll, JP Soars, Lindsay Beaver, and top international artists like Igor Prado, Kai Strauss, Jimmy Reiter, Big Dez, Raphael Wressnig, and Luca Giordano.
After releasing his first CD - Have Horn Will Travel (Rounder/Bullseye 1998) Gordon began leading his own bands and appearing as a special guest in the USA and Europe and has now been featured at clubs and festivals in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Croatia, Slovenia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
Seven more CDs followed - You Knock Me Out (Rounder/Bullseye 2000), Live at the Sax Blast (Rounder Europe/Me & My Blues 2004), Doug James & Sax Gordon (Independent 2005), SHOWTIME! (Continental Blue Heaven/Gotta Have Records 2012), In The Wee Small Hours (Delmark 2014), Rock & Roll Lives Here (Gotta Have Records 2018), EXTREME SAX! (Gotta Have Records 2021) and more international tours, further establishing Gordon on the international circuit. Gordon also regularly collaborates with the remarkable Catalonian pianist Lluís Coloma with whom he recorded Racanrol (Fresh Sound Records) a CD collaboration of all-original music drawing from the traditions of Boogie-Woogie, Jazz, Blues, and Latin music.
Currently Gordon can be found leading his own groups worldwide as well as appearing as a special guest with groups all over the globe. He conducts clinics at schools and festivals and can still be found working as a sideman, backing both established performers and up-and-coming artists.