I was treated to a tour of The Secret Life of the soul of a Guitar Player – think Stevie Wonder’s “The Secret Life of Plants”. In today’s music market is there room for a sensitive uber talented inner focused African-American male?
In addition to playing music, he also studies and teaches music therapy. Besides being super talented he is very easy on the eyes. I mean really!
Mr. Jordan’s music is an evolution from Charles Mingus who pioneered the concept of the upright bass as piano (his spiritual mentor was Duke Ellington) to the electric guitar as piano?
For those of you not familiar with Stanley Jordan, he pioneered a unique style of guitar playing back in 1985 with his first album “Magic Touch”. He does not play with a pic, nor does he strum but plays the guitar by touch as though they are piano keys a technique known as “touch” or “tap”.
Tonight’s concert was based primarily (but not exclusively) from his 2008 recording “State of Nature”
State of Nature is a series of reflections on the relationship between Humankind and the natural world. Through music, Stanley attempts to address the fundamental questions of Man’s inharmony toward self, other, and nature, and then attempts to musically express the partial answers he has found in his quest. ”excerpted from www.stanleyjordan.com”
Tonight’s show began with a cool but not mundane version of Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments”. Things didn’t stay cool very long s the trio played Revere, a composition by Debussy, I could hear strains of Bola Sete, and Egberto Gismonte in his playing and the mood ranged from a tender brook to a roaring waterfall full of contrapuntal cross harmonies coming together in beautiful moments and then more classical music, Mozart’s Piano Concerto # 21.
It’s a beautiful thing to be taken on a ride through the woods and waterways of a man’s soul. It’s moments like these that remind me that the greatest experience (with your clothes on) that one can experience is a great live jazz concert.
Now on the stage was a grand piano (didn’t know he played) like an old master and then the guitar returns played in right hand while piano is played in left.
The concert climaxed with the composition “Steppin’ Out”, a cover of an 80’s Joe Jackson pop tune (trust me the live version is nothing like the Joe Jackson original or the version that appears on the for that matter) but a free jazz Colemanesque piece of work that has Stanley crouched on the floor making sounds into the speakers with sounds generated by his volume controls then on his knees leaning back with guitar and mic playing the guitar into it. Before beginning the piece Stanley let us know he was giving us an antidote to “quiet storm” music by trusting that his accomplices would “stretch out” insisting they “had to” and telling them “no fear”!
Let go of your fear of the unknown and support fearless artists who dare venture into inter-steller areas of creation.