Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stanley Jordan: The Best Of Stanley Jordan (1995)

Jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is truly one of a kind. Influenced by the virtuosic splendor of Art Tatum, Jordan set out as a youngster to create a completely new technique for the guitar. Eventually, he worked out a system for playing his instrument that incorporated both hands in a totally new way, using his fingers like hammers on a piano. By doing this, Jordan extends the harmonic possibilities of his guitar.
On this Blue Note best-of collection, listeners are treated to a set of 1980s/early-'90s tunes by the guitar innovator. Jordan's eclectic tastes are captured here. For example, he cleverly interprets the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." He also performs a number of jazz standards, including "Impressions" and "My Favorite Things." Jordan also displays wonderful compositional skill on the elegant ballad "All the Children," the Robert Johnson-influenced "Still Got the Blues," and others.
Recorded between 1984 and 1990.
Personnel: Stanley Jordan (guitar); Kenny Kirkland (piano); Onaje Allan Gumbs, Preston Glass, Bernard Wright (keyboards); Cody Moffett, J.T. Lewis, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Omar Hakim (drums); Sammy Figueroa (percussion).
1. Jumpin' Jack (6:32)
2. Eleanor Rigby (7:01)
3. The Lady in My Life (6:26)
4. All the Children (5:00)
5. Impressions (7:18)
6. My Favorite Things (3:54)
7. Georgia on My Mind (6:06)
8. Stairway to Heaven (6:17)
9. Flying Home (4:02)
10. Still Got the Blues (5:06)