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Portrait of Sheila [Import]

Sheila JordanAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 1989 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2013 $11.98  
Audio CD, Import, 2010 --  
Vinyl, 2013 $27.64  

Amazon's Sheila Jordan Store


Image of album by Sheila Jordan


Image of Sheila Jordan


An interview with Sheila:

VOCALIST EXTRAORDINAIRE SHEILA JORDAN RELEASES 'WINTER SUNSHINE,' HER JUSTIN TIME DEBUT; CELEBRATES 80th BIRTHDAY IN STYLE This fall brings two remarkable events to Sheila Jordan: the veteran jazz singer is not only turning 80, but she is launching a brand new recording ... Read more in Amazon's Sheila Jordan Store

Visit Amazon's Sheila Jordan Store
for 11 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 11, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Indies Japan/Zoom
  • ASIN: B0037ZF71M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,090 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate & inventive singing August 15, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Sheila Jordan is one of the most important jazz singers of the last four decades, but you wouldn't know it from the size of her recorded output: always one of the least "commercial" of singers, this album (her first under her own name) is one of the few Jordan albums on a major label. It sets the pattern for much of her later work--it has a cast of stellar musicians (Barry Galbraith on guitar, Steve Swallow on [acoustic] bass, Denzil Best on drums), & on some tracks she strips the band right down to a duo format, presaging Jordan's later series of duets recorded with Harvie Schwartz. Though there are moments here (like the amazing "Let's Face the Music and Dance") where her work verges on the experimentalism of her work with George Russell or Carla Bley, mostly this is a set of intimate & subtly shaded standards.
I remember seeing Jordan in performance; she is an ebullient performer in front of an audience, & the sheer joy she gives off can be sampled here in "Falling in Love with Love" or "Dat Dere". Yet the real show-stopper was an emotional, draining version of "Don't Explain"; she seemed a little self-conscious about it afterwards ("Just goes to show that there's nothing people like more than a good old depressing ballad.")--I get the feeling that that sort of material draws on areas of herself she doesn't want to go into too often. On this disc there are several such moving vehicles for her ballad-readings: I'd single out "When the World Was Young". The voice is fresher than in most of her other discs (it is truly criminal that she was little-recorded until late in her career), but the depth of feeling is already present.
This is a classic vocal disc--one of those vocal discs you could recommend to a friend who "doesn't like jazz singing". It's not as self-consciously musicianly as a Betty Carter disc but is no less intelligent & creative.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic March 20, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The other reviewers have used up all the superlatives, and they're right. This is a classic of vocal jazz (or ought to be considered so). Sheila's voice at this stage of her career was as fresh and delicate as a rose petal. But don't let the comments about few instrumental solos let you think that the supporting musicians are unimportant. This is a very significant album for all of them. It's probably the most beautiful recording of Steve Swallow's acoustic bass sound (before he left that axe behind to become one of the greatest electric bassists)- "Baltimore Oriole" is one of his essential recordings. It has the utterly superb playing of Barry Galbraith, a master of guitar effects and a brilliant accompanist. And it has Denzil Best, one of the legendary and unsung bebop drummers, in a rare high fidelity recording.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The thrill of a singer discovering herself February 18, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
An old girlfriend of mine, upon hearing this album, said it sounded like a woman singing to herself in her kitchen. I haven't come up with a better description since. There's an intimacy, an innocence to Sheila's singing here that is enthralling. Sheila went on to record some masterful albums -- 1977's Sheila and 1989's Lost & Found being among the best -- but it is with Portrait of Sheila that we discover a singer discovering herself. Her mirth is contagious in "Falling in Love with Love," her wistful remembrances in "When the World Was Young" enter the listener's heart like a sigh, and her sorrows are laid out in all their blue beauty in "I'm a Fool to Want You," the loveliest version of this song I have ever heard. This is an essential album for any jazz collection.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars greatest jazz singer ever April 26, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
if you want to find a clear voice in jazz, please look for Sheila. This album of the 60's will change your mind in jazz singing. Powerful & swinging freely across the music. Genius!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, Witty, Engaging... August 8, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is the only Jordan album I own, and I know it's her first. Sheila's performances here are absolutely amazing. She can swing with the best of them,and she can charm you senseless on her ballads. She has a way of personalizing a melody, with her very personal vocal colorings, which never sound like vocal "pyrotechnics" at all. Sounds like pure emotion coming through her voice, that's what it is. On some songs she employs only bass and drums, on others solo guitar, and this shows her thirst for experimentation, and also, her fearlessnes in performing without the usual chordal accompaniment of the piano or guitar. I know she later went with the voice/bass duo in full force - that takes guts, period.

One little, little gripe, though. There are basically no solos at all on this album. Maybe it's just a musicians' point of view, but just a chorus for a guitar, or bass solo on at least several songs would have been extremely welcome. But, her vocal performance is so strong, that this minor detail does not even merit taking out one star. I still think it is a 5-star album. It is fair to say that even though her musicians do not get solo space, the way they support her vocal excursions is exemplary, and beautifully complements her unique style. As it is, the songs are very short, and to-the-point. So short, in fact, that you are left wanting more. A powerful and evocative album that left no doubt that a new, unique talent had arrived.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Best February 29, 2008
Format:Audio CD
A little while ago, it occurred to me that a pretty good legacy to leave in this world would be to do my small part in convincing other people to buy Sheila Jordan recordings. She is one of the very finest--and in inverse measure, certainly the most overlooked--jazz singers out there. Her recordings are painfully few in number. A function, I assure you, of an imperfect and unjust world.

This first recording of hers is the best introduction to her music: Relatively short tracks, a nice mix of tempos, and a magical sampling of how she can do with her voice what Charlie Parker did with a saxophone. She ranges effortlessly from intimate and soulful to showy and playful. Highlights include "Am I Blue" and "Dat Dere," but--Lord!--don't make me really choose a favorite.

It had to be more than ten years ago that I first wandered into The Green Mill (a small, but legendary Chicago club) and had my introduction to Sheila. The stars were aligned and the gods were smiling. I'll never forget that night. She has mastered her voice as a jazz instrument, and she can hypnotize you with it at will.

The next day I went out and bought this album. Then soon got the rest. You should too. Seriously, for--what?--twelve dollars?--you can buy yourself a whole lot of happy here. Then go out and do your part to spread the gospel of Sheila Jordan.
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