In an art form too often rife with factionalism and stylistic myopia, Wycliffe Gordon is a breath of fresh air. He’ll play with anybody, bringing his commanding technique, sense of history and sheer exuberance to any musical setting. He is equally at home on the stage at Lincoln Center, on the “jazz party” circuit, in repertory bands, touring with the venerable Statesmen of Jazz and even on the fringes of the avant-garde.
Born in Waynesboro, Ga., in 1967, Gordon seems to be of an earlier musical generation in terms of background and outlook: “I grew up in the church, and that experience is just a natural part of my being. My father was a classical musician, but he was also a church pianist and organist, so the singing, the preaching-that’s all a part of how I express myself and how I interpret music.”