Core’ngrato 2 Click here and listen to her sing!!

My good freind Gino Forchetti heard my mother’s record and said you must write about her on your blog. I took it to heart. So here it is as I write about my mother who passed away 23 years ago, as she looks down on me now as my career flourishes just a bit. Her name was Edith Gordon, and she was from Canton Ohio, where she was validictorian of her high school class at McKinley High School. She went from that small town in Ohio directly into a full scholarship at The Juilliard School Of Music, which at that time was uptown at 122nd street and Broadway in New York City. Her major was as a mezzo soprano, and a piano minor. She was a fluent pianist and could sight read just about anything. It was not a surprise to me as she had all the support in the world, as my granfather Harry Gordon bought her a Chickering baby grand piano after the depression. I can’t even imagine where he got the money. Either way when my mom passed away 23 years ago I inherited that piano, and I had it rebuilt by Kalman Dietrich of Dietrich Pianos on West 58th Street. I have the piano in my living room today, and it has become an emotional piece of my household. I have written around 100 tunes on this piano, and continue to  this day. After Juilliard Edith Gordon went on to perform with Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland symphony. She sang Mahler 2 with Bernstein at Tanglewood, and eventually became Gian Carlo Menotti’s choice for the role of Lucy in the premiere of  “The Medium and The Telephone” on Broadway. She had several recordings and one of them sticks in my mind as I was a young boy when she made it. It was on Tikva Records, and on this recording every cut was in a different language. She sang in 9 different languages with perfect diction. A golden voice that will remain in my heart forever. Whenever I hear a beautiful soprano sing I think of my mom, as I grew up listening to her vocalize Ma,Me,Mi,Ma Moo at home daily, and watched her perform around the world as a young boy growing up. The year I auditioned for Juilliard they accepted 2 undergrads and one grad student. The 2 undergrads were Danny Druckman (currently the 2nd percussionist in the NY Philharmonic, as well as professor at Juilliard, son of Pulitzer prize winning composer Jacob Druckman, and myself. The grad student accepted that year was Jonathen Haas who today is a fine tympanist and percussionist. When I told my mother I was accepted, I also said I did not really want to go to college. I just wanted to play jazz, as I was a young drum student of Elvin Jones, and playing drums with the late great Kenny Kirkland, and one of todays finest guitarists and composers Rodney Jones. We had a nice band with Kenny on piano,  Rodney playing bass and guitar, and Cecil McBee Jr. playing bass. Well upon hearing the news that I wanted to turn down the opportunity of going to Juilliard after I was one of two accepted out of maybe 50-100 applicants, my mother screamed, “if you do that you are disowned. You will get nothing from me to help you”.  Well as it turned out I went on to Juilliard , and it was a life changing experience for me, as it made me a much more rounded musician, and composer. I got to play with all the greatest musicians and conductors in the world like Leonard Bernstein, Herbert Von Karajan, Sir George Solti, Zubin Mehta, James Conlon, Sixten Ehrling, and many more. As well as I studied with the man who basically invented the tympani in Saul Goodman,  and Elden Buster Bailey who was probably the greatest snare drummer to ever live. It was invaluable to be around this, and I have my mother to thank, as she basically forced me into my freshman year. Thanks Mom! If you could see me now I think you’d be pretty proud of me. Please be sure to  check the sites of all the fantastic musicians I have linked in this blog. And also play the mp3 of Edith Gordon attached.

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