While playing first trumpet for Ray Charles in 1974, a tumor developed on my lower lip in the exact spot where I play. After an examination by a leading physician in New York, I was scheduled for surgery. A week following the surgical removal of the tumor, the doctor told me he also had to cut out some of the surrounding tissue etc. He also mentioned that my lip would be numb for the rest of my life and that I would never again play trumpet.
Upon hearing this less than cheery news, I returned to L.A. and started getting my "piano chops" together. Two months later, while hanging out with a friend, I picked up my horn and tried to play. Finally a note came out.
The next day I called Claude Gordon and related the above story to him. In all the years I've known him, since 1958, I'd never heard him raise his voice til now. "Is that doctor a trumpet player?" he thundered. I told him that he wasn't. Following a few well chosen flowery phrases, Claude rather sternly "invited" me to his studio for a consultation and lesson.
Three hours after my arrival at Claude's, I was playing A above high C. Finally a smile graced the familiar, now friendly, face of C.G. He wrote out a set of routines and told me to come back in two weeks.
Two weeks later, I returned for another three hour lesson. Apparently his advice and Instruction once again did the trick, because one month later I was invited by Louis Prima to join his group as a featured artist.
Upon Louis' death, I went on to appear and be featured with Raquel Welch, Lou Rawls, Barry White and others.
During my travels, I've encountered brassmen in Japan. Europe and South America as well as in this country who not only employ the C.G. method, but have told me all about the "trumpet player C.G. raised from the dead." Invariably this leads to a good laugh when they find out that I'm that trumpet player!
Obviously my debt of gratitude to Mr. Gordon is im- measureable. All I can say about this method is "Go for it!".