Born in Berwick upon Tweed in the Scottish Borders, Gordon started playing Trombone at the age of 12 and at the tender age of 15 joined the Army as a Junior Bandsman in the Staff Band of The Royal Corps of Transport. He spent 2 years at the Junior Musiciansʼ Wing of the Guards Depot at Pirbright and 9 years as 1st Trombone with the Royal Corps of Transport Band in Aldershot where he reached the exalted rank of Corporal.
In 1978 Gordon left the Army to join the legendary BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra under the direction of Brian Fahey where he was lucky enough to work with the great Ella Fitzgerald. The Orchestra was made redundant in 1980 and after a couple of years as freelance in Scotland, playing with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Opera, he moved to London.
Gordon was appointed Lead Trombone in the BBC Big Band in 1984 and has worked with many great musicians and artists during his tenure including Billy May, Les Brown, Ray Anthony, Bob Florence, Bob Brookmeyer, Bobby Shew and Bill Watrous.
In 1986 while playing with Sarah Vaughan and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon at the Glasgow Jazz Festival Gordon played a Trombone solo which was heard by the great Benny Carter. Benny loved Gordonʼs playing and wrote a piece of music especially for him called “DN” which was played in the concert on the following evening by Gordon and an all star Scottish Big Band.
His work in recent years has ranged from West End Shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Crazy For You , South Pacific, Sinatra, Oliver and Betty Blue Eyes to concerts with Tony Bennet, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Barbara Cook, Patti Austin and Bob Hope.
Gordonʼs unique sound has been in great demand over the years in the orchestras of Robert Farnon and John Wilson and the Big Bands of Laurie Johnson, Laurie Holloway, Kenny Wheeler and Alan Ganley.
Gordon is currently Professor of Trombone for HM Royal Marines Band Service and Professor of Trombone at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Hear Gordon playing here