Influential jazz saxophonist who played with Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillepsie, influencing a generation of jazz musicians.
He picked up the clarinet at age thirteen and, soon after, he began performing with other talented young musicians, including Charles Mingus and Buddy Collette.
After touring with the Lionel Hampton Band, he joined the innovative Billy Eckstine Orchestra with Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan.
He grew up in Los Angeles where his father was a doctor who tended to Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton, among others.
John Coltrane was inspired by the Gordon's bebop sound.