The legendary Vin Gordon, aka ‘Trommie’, aka ‘Don D Junior’, is Jamaica’s master trombonist who played through the golden years of Jamaican music – through ska, rocksteady and onwards to working with some of the most iconic reggae artists in the world. A pupil at the hugely influential (and equally legendary) Alpha Boys School of Music, Vin’s recording career began at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One in 1965 and the rest is Jamaican musical history, with Trommie’s distinctive sound flowing through decades of classic tunes.
Vin Gordon & the Real Rock Band brings you one of the true originators. A musician who loves nothing more than playing live music to the people and keeping the audience dancing to Jamaica’s musical history. Boss tunes and mighty ska big band uptempo instrumentals featuring plenty of jazz solos, sweet and mellow rocksteady, rocking reggae grooves and some heavy roots all feature in this great good times show – classic after classic, covering the golden decades of the best Jamaican music!
Join Vin and the Real Rock Band for this album launch special, celebrating the release of ‘Heavenless’ – out on the Roots Garden label on 2nd May.
Vin’s life in music started in the early 60s at the legendary Alpha Boys School of Music where he took up the trombone. Soon mastering his sound and earning a reputation as a player, he started recording at Coxone Dodd’s Studio One in 1965 recording for The Wailers alongside great musicians such as The Skatalites’ Roland Alphonso, Tommy McCook, Jackie Mittoo, Lloyd Brevett, Lester Sterling, Bobby Ellis and many more.
Vin’s trombone sounds can be heard on the recordings of many Studio One legends of the day: the Wailers, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, the Abyssinians, the Heptones, Delroy Wilson, Bob Andy and Alton Ellis and plenty more, the list is staggering.
His biggest hits as a solo artist were ‘Heavenless’ (credited as ‘Don D Junior’) and ‘Real Rock’, which he composed alongside keyboard genius Jackie Mittoo, a forever popular massive reggae anthem, and possibly the most covered riddim in reggae history. By the early 70s, Vin started to freelance for other star producers such as Lee Perry, Jack Ruby, Joe Gibbs, Duke Reid, Yabby U, Striker Lee, and Harry J to name but a few.
In 1977 his friend Bob Marley brought him to London (Vin was his favourite trombone player having played on the Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration albums) to record the Exodus and Kaya albums, both of course million-selling classic albums (including hits like ‘Is This Love’, ‘Satisfy My Soul’, ‘Exodus’). While in the UK, he also worked with Aswad, contributing greatly to their success at the time writing heavy horn based tunes such as ‘Warrior Charge’ and ‘Dub Fire’ (immortalised by Dennis Brown as ‘Promised Land’). For the last twenty years Vin has toured the world as a member of The Wailers and the Skatalites.
As the years have passed we realise the huge contribution to reggae music Vin Gordon has made, from an unsung hero to an elder statesman.
Nowadays he leads his own band, The Real Rock Band. A nine piece group featuring some of the most experienced London musicians of different generations, capable of playing the authentic grooves of Jamaica’s foundation styles – ska, rocksteady, mento and reggae.
Vin Gordon – Band Leader & Trombone (Practically everyone!)
Charlie Wood – Guitar (Nightdoctor, Little Roy, Horace Andy, Bob Andy, Rico)
Colin Humphries – Tenor Sax (Laurel Aitken, Gaz Mayall and the Trojans, Prince Buster, Rico)
Dave Fullwood – Trumpet (Zion Train, Lover Grocer, Rico)
Charles Nelson – Keyboards (Desmond Dekker, Gregory Issacs, Alton Ellis, Dave Barker, The Pioneer)
Inyaki Yarritu – Bass (The Heptones, Cornell Cambell, Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet, Alton Ellis)
Marley Drummond – Drums (Soul Rebel Band, Horace Andy, Tasonia, Gappy Ranks, Etana)
Skorpi Gad – Precussions (Producer Arkolgy/Positive Beat, Dub Operator, Aba Shanti)