Two men named Jim Gordon appear in the credits for Harry Nilsson's recordings. One is a percussionist for many of Harry's recordings. The other Jim Gordon played baritone saxophone on tracks that Harry Nilsson produced for Ringo Starr's 1981 album Stop and Smell the Roses.


Jim Gordon studied piano when he was just 5 years old. He started playing clarinet at 11 and began working as a professional musician at 14. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles, California, and received a scholarship to the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music.


In 1958, Gordon playing in local club bands and working on recording sessions. During the 1960s and 1970s, he worked many recording sessions. He played keyboards and woodwind for many artists including Harry Nilsson, Delaney & Bonnie, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne.


In 1967, he recorded an album of experimental pop music for Cream Records, Jim Gordon Plays Heavy.


During the 1970s and 1980s, Gordon worked as a recording engineer for the Stereo Masters studio and as a producer for Warner Brothers.


In 1980, Gordon moved to Orange County, California, married, and became a full-time computer consultant.


In 1990, he returned to music, recording in his own studio, playing clarinet on Keb Mo's Just Like You album, and composing music.