Bobby Gordon was the JCJB clarinetist in the early 1970s and appears at the Landing from time to time as a guest artist.
Bobby is a native New Yorker. He studied in New York City with the great jazz clarinetist Joe Marsala, who called Bobby his “most gifted student and protege.”
Bobby has worked with Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison, Bobby Hackett and Muggsy Spanier. He was the house clarinetist at Condon’s in New York City from 1977 to 1980. Additionally, Bobby has long associations with Jim Cullum’s Happy Jazz Band and with blues singer Leon Redbone.
Bobby has recorded solo LPs for Decca-MCA; several albums with both Redbone and the Happy Jazz Band; Hal Smith’s Rhythmakers; and Marty Grosz’s Destiny Tots and Orphan Newsboys.
His recordings include a selection of beautiful tunes with the legendary jazz harpist Adele Girard Marsala, available on Arbors Records and featuring Ray Sherman on piano, Marty Corb on bass and Gene Estes on drums. In September of 1993 he recorded, also on Arbors, a collection of Pee Wee Russell tunes, accompanied by Bob Haggart, Marty Grosz, Jon-Erik Kellso and Johnny Varro.
Most recent recordings include Bobby Gordon Plays Bing, A Tribute to Bing Crosby with Dan Barrett, Peter Ecklund, Keith Ingham and Marty Grosz; and Hal Smith’s Roadrunners featuring Rebecca Kilgore, Ray Skjelbred, and Mike Duffy.
Appearances include accompanying Leon Redbone on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson; playing at jazz festivals across the country including Conneaut Lake; Los Angeles Classic; Atlanta, and JVC. In May of 1995 and 1996 Bobby made appearances in Japan with Marty Grosz and the Orphan Newsboys, and at Lincoln Center in New York in July of 1996.
Bobby’s sound on the clarinet is distinctive, in the best tradition of Joe Marsala, Pee Wee Russell, Jimmie Noone, Frank Teschemacher, Benny Goodman, and other celebrated clarinetists. He has led a quartet at Milligan’s Bar and Grill in La Jolla, CA since 1992. Currently, Bob lives in San Diego, CA.