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Portrait Of Sheila
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Portrait Of Sheila
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Right in time for Jazz Appreciation Month the Blue Note LP series continues on with five new titles. During the Blue Note 75th anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York Times readers what titles they'd like to see make the list. These five new reissues were hand-selected by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations.
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Once upon a time , i owned this remarkable recording . We parted company owing to the fact that my judgement was most poor and i was impulsive (no pun intended) .
There's four stars here :
Barry Galbraith (electric and acoustic guitars)
Steve Swallow (acoustic bass)
Denzil Best (drums) and the extrodinary
Ms. Jordan (vocals)
Recorded in the great state of New Jersey on September 19th and October 12th 1962 , ALL of these artists can be heard at their very best more than 50 years on .
Rather than waste time telling you about this VERY special , intimate and deeply rewarding work of art , i'd rather challenge you to find fault with it .
From the Vocal history of Bessie Smith to Pioneer Jay Clayton, Sheila Jordan stands out as an
uncompromising voice in the free expression of lyrics, melody, vocal sound, tempo, and the improvisation
of those elements, which makes her the innovator and inspiration,that she is.
Her choice of repertoire for this 1962 Blue Note date is nearly impeccable, not to mention the revelatory
fact, that she was the first vocalist to be recorded on the Blue Note label. I have MANY favorites on this
date, but the character and instincts she displays on "If You Could See Me Now", and "Dat Dere", simply
swept me away, and her inherent sense for the dramatic, absolutely stuns me! Historically speaking, this
CD work is a treasure to be listened to and reminded of what the art of Jazz singing is all about...
in a beautiful "Portrait".
Fred Farell, Gospel Jazz Vocalist
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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I don't know the whole story about this N.Y. night club sensation Sheila Jordan.Read more