As a bass player, Gordon Johnson is a list-maker's dream. There are the world tours with names like Maynard Ferguson, Gene Bertoncini, Roy Buchanan, the Paul Winter Consort, CBS All Stars and Chuck Mangione. There are the recordings as sideman, over 150 at last count, from jazz (Jimmy Hamilton, Maynard Ferguson, etc.) to blues/R&B (Buchanan, Doug Maynard) to bluegrass (Becky Schlegel) to folk (Greg Brown, Arlo Guthrie). Network television appearances run the gamut from the Merv Griffin Show to Soul Train. But more important is the list of adjectives that undeniably apply to Johnson: fluid, inventive, smart, tasteful, complimentary and complete, to name just a few. With TRIOS Version 3.0, Gordon Johnson continues to compile a list of outstanding accomplishments as bandleader.
Born in 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gordy Johnson was quickly immersed in the world of music. His father Clifford was in the bass section of the Minnesota Orchestra for 47 years and his mother Thelma taught piano. Gordy's main ax growing up was the flute, however, he also played bass, keyboards and guitar, sang rock and roll, you name it. A 1974 graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester (New York), Gordy was a Flute Major and member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Not that his now-primary instrument was in storage during those years. Gordy played bass in the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Studio Orchestra and Arrangers Workshop Orchestra. His well- rounded training in a variety of instruments provides Gordy with the musical vocabulary and empathy that defines the great jazz bassists.