A classically trained pianist amid the ’70s fervor for modern synthesizers, Andrew Gordon’s debut solo album, Silhouette emerged from the junction of technology and skill—a futuristic yet timeless sound of jazz, fusion and funk. Though the 1985 LP quietly drifted outside the mainstream, Silhouette eventually brought Gordon to a syndicated television soap-opera, shepherded him on a path towards Buddhism, and made him a testimonial of the cyber-age algorithm.
Born and raised in London, Gordon came of age during the capital’s swinging ’60s. But while his peers were immersing themselves in white boy blues, Gordon could be found behind the piano studying and performing classical composition. It wasn’t until he was at university studying to be a pharmacist that he encountered Jeff Beck’s Truth and changed his course entirely. A job at London’s first synthesizer retailer all but assured a career in music.
Following a move to California in 1979, Gordon began taking classes at UCLA to master the Yamaha DX7. He saw an ad for jazz piano lessons being offered by Michael Garson, who had famously played piano for David Bowie. In Garson he found an influential teacher, and lifelong friend. It was under Garson’s wing that Gordon began writing the pieces of songs that became Silhouette, sketching ideas for the album at home on his Fostex 4-track.
Tracking for Silhouette officially commenced in 1985 at Total Access Studios in Redondo Beach, California. After a day of technical difficulties synching his Oberheim-branded OB 8, DSX sequencer, and DX drum machine synthesizers to Total Access’s set up, Gordon laid down seven deeply mysterious jazz-funk instrumentals in five days. Issued on Eagle Records later that year in an edition of 3,000 LPs, the record garnered faint praise on handful of jazz and college radio stations but was largely ignored.
The album—and Gordon’s musical career—were largely in stasis when he made a discovery during chance watching of ABC’s long-running soap opera “General Hospital.” In the background of a scene where a young girl is lost on the streets of the fictional Port Charles, a familiar melody was buried in the mix: “Walking The Lonely Streets”—the third track from Silhouette. The song would end up being used in roughly 30 episodes over the next seven seasons.
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