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Stolen Moments is recorded live at the Blue Not in Tokyo in 1990. He opens with a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic, "Stairway to Heaven". This instrumental version provides a new twist, which brings life into a very overplayed song. He follows with a very moving rendition of Coltrane's "Impressions". A very fast tempo piece in which each of the band mates gets to take a chance in the spotlight with a solo. The only original score of his that appears on this album is "Return Expedition" which explores an opportunity for each member to solo, and they do for more than four minutes each. He ends this flawless album with his version of "Over the Rainbow." It's all great music from beginning to end.
Giants Kenwood Dennard on drums and Charnett Moffett on acoustic bass (he only picks up an electric bass for "Lady In My Life") complete this very small, very tight band. This album has more of a jazz feeling than some of his other studio albums. Like so many talented artists, when Jordan takes to the stage he turns it up. His studio albums are great, but this is somethin' else.
If you're a Bruce Willis fan, you can catch a glimpse of Jordan in Blake Edwards' 1987 movie "Bind Date" with Kim Basinger.
Then something happened along the way. The critics found his extraordinary sound "boring," his material "lightweight," he was dropped by Blue Note, couldn't get any of his new records reviewed, and the critics and public lost interest. He is now rarely mentioned when jazz guitarists are discussed, and his records now come out on small, indie labels to little fanfare and no media or critical attention.
What happened? I don't know -- he sounds as great as he did when he was the toast of New York in the early 80s, except his sound has deepened and broadened. Take this mid-career 1990 set, recorded live in Japan in a crack trio setting. Jordan gives a Michael Jordan-like display of dizzying guitar wizardry, opening up and swallowing whole the rock warhorse "Stairway to Heaven" in the opening number. That's just the start -- he then unpacks Coltrane's "Impressions," reinvents "Autumn Leaves," funkifies "Lady in My Life," and, as you gasp for breath from the commanding control of their sound this trio has -- he comes onstage for the closer: a solo, heartbreaking version of "Over the Rainbow."
Anyone listening to this recently would have to agree the dude deserves a second look. An impressive set.
Bottom-Line: "Stolen Moments" is Stanley Jordan at his best yet.
It's rare outside of the classical music genre to run across a live album, and even rarer still to find one worthy or praise and purchase. Stanly Jordan's "Stolen Moments (1991)" is such an album; a rare find in which the music is pure and unhindered by the trappings of studio manipulation and over-engineering. What Jordan and his fellow musicians-- bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Kenwood Dennard--bring to the Blue Note stage in Tokyo Japan, is an energetic set of music that is bound to please purists and contemporary alike.
"Stolen Moments" features a lot of improvisational traditional Jazz notes, deftly blended with Smooth Jazz undertones. The results is a magical, whimsical CD that straddles the (Jazz) musical fence tossing notes in either direction thereby pleasing all.
Stanley continues his reputation as a maverick on the guitar; indeed on several tracks, Jordan reported plays two guitars at the same time; i.e. Stanley playing chords on one guitar with his left hand while simultaneously playing melodies on another guitar (attached to a synthesizer) with his right hand. This is evident on yet another rendering of the Led Zeppelin classic Stairway To Heaven (track No. 1) which fist made it appearance on another Jordan Album, Flying Home (1988).
From this launch point Jordan picks up the pace considerable with a high energy number entitled Impressions in which the guitar takes center stage, but the other two instruments in the trio are given their own change to fly solo so to speak.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recently saw Stanley Jordan perform in person. Some of the songs he performed were the same as on this album. However, in person they were much better. Read morePublished on November 3, 2006 by Rational Man