Clifford Jordan


Born: September 2, 1931; Chicago, IL   Died: March 27, 1993; New York, NY  
Clifford Jordan never attained the widespread exposure he deserved, though he was well known and highly respected by knowledgeable jazz fans and musicians. He had a warm, exuberant sound and round, big tone. Jordan was a wonderful blues and ballad player, able to stretch out and swing, then go inside and play with conviction and energy. Jordan started on piano, then switched to tenor sax at 14. He attended Du Sable High in Chicago, where his Read more classmates included Johnny Griffin, John Gilmore and Richard Davis. He played in Chicago with both R&B bands and Max Roach and Sonny Stitt before moving to New York in 1957. He worked again with Roach, then Horace Silver. Jordan went to the West Coast for a year, then came back to New York and worked with J.J. Johnson. He played in the early '60s with Kenny Dorham and Andrew Hill. He also worked with Charles Mingus, once more with Roach and toured Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Jordan's earliest album was done for Blue Note, working with his old classmate John Gilmore. He did septet and quartet dates for Blue Note in the late '50s. Cannonball Adderley helped him land on Riverside in the '60s, producing his debut for the label in 1960. Jordan later recorded for Jazzland, Atlantic, Vortex and then the black-owned label Strata-East in 1969. He continued in the early and mid-'70s on Strata East, leading his Magic Triangle group. Jordan recorded for Steeplechase, Muse and East World. Jordan played Lester Young in a 1972 theatrical production "Lady Day: A Musical Tragedy" that was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He also visited Europe often in the '60s and '70s. During the '80s there were sessions for Soul Note, Criss Cross, Bee Hive, Mapleshade, Jazzline and others. Jordan recorded for DIW in the '90s and led a big band before finally succumbing to cancer in 1992. A fair number of his sessions are available on CD. Read less
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