dtrcd185.jpg (35233 bytes) Jon Gordon & Bill Charlap - Contrasts

DTRCD - 185

Jon Gordon - Alto Sax, Bill Charlap - Piano

  1. Stardust
  2. Young At Heart
  3. Bye Ya
  4. For Sue
  5. These Foolish Things
  6. Contrasts
  7. I Fall In Love Too Easily
  8. Compensation
  9. Over The Rainbow
10. Epilogue

Listen to CD Tracks

    This project is very special to me. It was suggested and produced by Phil Woods, and much of it was recorded in his home. It was done with one of my best friends, Bill, and we recorded a song, “For Sue,” that was dedicated to my mother.
    Phil is one of the greatest alto saxophonists in the history of this music. When I first heard him, at age sixteen, he immediately became my hero. Soon after, I was fortunate enough to study with him - and what a teacher he was and is! I remember one lesson that lasted about a day and a half. Through it all he has been a great friend and continues to be an invaluable inspiration, musically and otherwise. I am eternally grateful for his support.
    Bill Charlap and I met at Performing Arts High School in September of 1980 when we were thirteen. He and I have been so close for so long, been through and seen so much together, listened to and played so much music together that I think this recording was inevitable. I am so proud of and happy for his recent popular and critical acclaim. It could not be more deserved. His reinvestigation of the American Song form has been an important contribution to today’s music scene, and as is apparent, was a main steering influence on this recording. More than anyone, Bill taught me how to listen to and hear music. I can think of no higher compliment.
    During our high school years, Bill and my mother, became friends. He’d call for me and they’d wind up talking for half an hour or more while I practiced. She loved Bill and his playing, and I’m thankful he got to know and appreciate her as well. She had lots of interesting stories about the L.A. jazz scene in the fifties, when she was married to the great baritone player Bob Gordon. Unfortunately, Bob died in a car accident in 1956 at the age of 27, and soon after, Sue lost her daughter Stacy to leukemia. Understandably, I don’t think she ever quite recovered for that. Paul Simons song “Some Folks Lives” reminds me of Sure, as do some other songs on this record. She passed on March 1st, 1994.
    “For Sue” was written by Bob Gordon’s best friend and closest musical associate, Jack Montrose. The piece was brought untitled to a recording date of Bob’s, and after hearing it, Bob suggested the name. Jack agreed, as he and Sue were also good friends. I’m glad Bill and I had the chance to record this tune. There was no more fitting person to have played it with.

    Thanks to: Ken and Marguerite Stanton, Loretta Benaducci, Bill and Jacqui Parrot, Willie, Peter and Margaret Echanique, Jill Goodwin, Margaret Davis, Eddie Chamblee, Eddie Locke, Sean Smith, Kevin Hays, Neal Levy, Debra Wolf, Brian and Dan Weber, Tyrone Jackson, Bjorn and Mona Pedersen, Nancy Applebee, Kent Heckman, Bill Goodwin, Jen, Liam, and Shane.
    Jon Gordon

    Jon Gordon is my brother. We met each other and became friends at a very influential time in our lives at the Performing Arts High School. When I first met Jon, as a freshman in high school, he already had many of the hallmarks that are in his mature playing style today. The beautiful rounded sound, deep passion, a searching quality, and the best time of anyone I'd ever met. We were both learning and growing so much musically during those four years at Performing Arts High School, and we've been able to view ourselves through each others eyes as we have both made some of the journey toward our own musical voices. We have a perspective and understanding of each others playing which makes coming together as a duo that much more meaningful for both of us.
    Phil Woods has always been a hero to Jon and myself. Jon and I both revered his musical mastery and wanted to emulate his standard of excellence as we still try to do today. Jon studied with him in high school and I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the Phil Woods Quintet since 1995.
    It feels like coming full circle in a sense to have recorded an album with my dear friend Jon, produced by Phil Woods and mostly recorded in Wood's living room.
    This album is about family. Jon, my surrogate brother, Phil one of our first musical fathers, and my father and mother (with respect to the repertoire of the classic American Song.) But most of all this album is about Sue Gordon. Jon's mother was a very special person who would have been proud (and I believe is proud) to see us play and hear our music today. I humbly dedicate my part of this album to her memory.

    Special thanks is in order to: Jamey D. Aebersold, Kent Heckman, Bill Goodwin, Marcy Walkow-Levine and of course Phil Woods.
    Bill Charlap

    I am very proud to be the producer of this CD. I have known Bill Charlap and Jon Gordon for over 17 years. They were both big fans of my quintet and I would see them in the audience at many New York venues. Jon became my first scholarship student and soaked up everything I could throw at him. He was a great player when he came to me and it was not long before he graduated with high honors indeed! To my ears, and Mr. Benny Carter agrees, Jon is one of the very best alto players ever! Bill Charlap has been my piano player since April '95 when Jim McNeely left the quintet and has been nothing short of brilliant in filling the position. Bill has a depth and scope that a lot of younger players have not yet acquired and has now formed a world-class trio. I recently recorded with the trio on board the QE2 for Hank ONeal's Chiaroscuro label and the results are astounding as is this duet with two old friends. Jon and Bill have played together since high school and their rapport is amazing. Like all great players they know how to listen and react. This is my first producing effort and it will be very difficult to top it! Thank you Jon and thank you Bill and special thanks to Kent Heckman of Red Rock studios for the great sound.
    Phil Woods - July 2001