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Clifford Jordan

Clifford Jordan

Biography

Tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan didn’t really straddle the fence between Bop and Avant Garde; he simply stepped around it. Perhaps his unique Post Bop style stemmed from his origins as a “Chicago tenor,” a tradition firmly rooted in the conventions of Swing and Bop harmony. Or perhaps it’s the result of his big, warm tone, which always made his abstract, meandering improvisational flights accessible and appealing. Whatever the cause, many musicians admired the effect, and Jordan was popular among the jazz community in the 1960s. Between 1960 and 1975, he recorded several acclaimed albums as a leader, backed by pianist Cedar Walton and a rotating rhythm section. In 1964, he toured Europe with bassist Charles Mingus. Late in his career, he collaborated with Third Stream composer Ran Blake, and fronted a big band featuring his original compositions. Clifford Jordan died in 1993.
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