Clifford Jordan Biography

Clifford Laconia Jordan, 2 September 1931, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 27 March 1993, New York City, New York, USA. Jordan began his professional career playing tenor saxophone in R&B bands in the Chicago area. In 1957 he moved to New York, made the album Blowing In From Chicago with fellow tenor saxophonist John Gilmore and then spent time in groups led by Max Roach and Horace Silver. In the 60s he played with artists including J.J. Johnson, Charles Mingus, Kenny Dorham, Julian Priester and also led his own bands, touring extensively. In 1965 he released a tribute to Lead Belly, These Are My Roots, and in the late 60s began to record for the Strata East label: outstanding releases include In The World and Glass Bead Games. In the 70s he worked with Cedar Walton, often in a quartet context with Sam Jones and Billy Higgins (known as the Magic Triangle), recording some distinctive large ensemble albums for Muse (Remembering Me-Me, Inward Fire), and he also established a reputation as a teacher. In the 80s Jordan continued to record regularly, both as a guest with leaders such as Slide Hampton (Roots) and in various small groups of his own, where his associates have included Walton again (Half Note), Barry Harris (Repetition) and Junior Cook (Two Tenor Winner!). With his roots in blues and the bebop mainstream tempered by work with modernists such as Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Don Cherry, Jordan was both an accessible, adventurous player and an impressive, underrated composer/arranger.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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