Happy birthday, Mike Gordon! Mainly known for his bass bombs in Phish, the sly bassist has collaborated with some of the best and brightest in the scene throughout his lifetime. A founding member of Phish, Gordon tours extensively with his own solo band and maintains a healthy appetite for musical collaborations. Here are our ten favorite clips showcasing Gordon’s work with other crews:
1. Mike Gordon with Bob Weir – 2/24/2014
Gordon is no stranger to Grateful Dead collaborations. While he’s been to known to share the stage with fellow bassist Phil Lesh, his appearances with Bob Weir have been just as captivating. Here’s Gordo sitting in with Weir and Ratdog on “Bird Song” during their 2014 winter tour at Boston’s House Of Blues.
RatDog ft. Mike Gordon – “Bird Song” – 2/24/14
[Video: Chris Van Slyke]
2. Mike Gordon with DJ Logic, Stanley Jordan, & Warren Haynes – 9/10/2001
This session at the infamous Wetlands Preserve in New York City featured DJ Logic and guitar virtuosos Warren Haynes and Stanley Jordan. Gordon and the group absolutely tear up a half-hour long jam based around Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition.”
DJ Logic, Warren Haynes, Stanley Jordan, Mike Gordon – “Superstition” – 9/10/01
[Video: Lawrence Blumenstein]
3. Mike Gordon with Benevento/Russo Duo – 4/27/2005
If you’ve never heard the 52-minute rendition of “Foam” performed at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia, by Mike Gordon and the Benevento/Russo Duo, strap in because you’re bound for a sublime ride.
Benevento/Russo Duo ft. Mike Gordon – “Foam” – 4/27/05
4. Mike Gordon with STS9 – 7/23/2008
In his only sit-in with STS9, Gordon was able to secure some space to lead a bass-driven improvisational jam that had the crowd at South Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground going wild.
STS9 ft. Mike Gordon – “Gordo Improv” – 7/23/08
[Audio: Drew Taylor]
5. Mike Gordon with Umphrey’s McGee – 11/13/2009
Another collaboration at Vermont’s Higher Ground, here is Cactus sitting in with Umphrey’s McGee, taking over the bass duties from Ryan Stasik during the jam section of “In The Kitchen.”
Umphrey’s McGee ft. Mike Gordon – “In The Kitchen” – 11/13/09
6. Mike Gordon with Gov’t Mule – 5/3/2003
Anyone familiar with Gov’t Mule is probably aware of the band’s terrific Deep End releases that feature a great cast of musicians, Gordon being one of many. Here they are digging into Little Feat’s “On Your Way Down.”
Gov’t Mule ft. Mike Gordon – “On Your Way Down” – 5/3/03
[Video: Steve Midgley]
7. Mike Gordon with Marco Benevento – 5/31/2014
Next is another great little jam sesh with keyboard extraordinaire Marco Benevento and Gordon during the 2014 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. These two obviously share a strong connection going all the way back to the time they spent playing together during the second Phish hiatus.
Marco Benevento w/Mike Gordon – 5/31/14
[Video: Joe Adler]
8. Mike Gordon with Victor Wooten – 2007
What happens when you throw two of the most prodigious bass players of their time, Mike Gordon and Victor Wooten, together? A whole lotta bass! Check out this great practice session recorded at Wooten’s Bass And Nature Camp also featuring Tony Trishka’s son, Sean, on drums.
Victor Wooten, Mike Gordon, Sean Trishka – “Improv Jam”
[Video: THE MUSICIAN NETWORK (TMNtv)]
9. Mike Gordon with Phil Lesh – 08/01/2013
All the way from Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California, this terrific version of the Grateful Dead’s “He’s Gone” features Gordon on lead vocals.
Phil Lesh & Mike Gordon – “He’s Gone” – 8/1/13
10. Mike Gordon With Trey Anastasio Acoustic – 07/06/2008
In one of his first performances back from rehab, Phish guitar player Trey Anastasio was slated to play an acoustic set for the Rothbury Festival. It turned out to be a rejuvenation for Anastasio as well as Phish, as the beloved jam band reunited months later. Here is Gordon sitting in with Trey on the Phish classic, “Chalk Dust Torture”, which begs the question: Can I live while I’m young?
Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon – “Chalk Dust Torture” – 7/6/08
Happy birthday, Mike Gordon!
[Originally published June 3rd, 2015]