Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan Ellen Johnson 234 pages ISBN: 978-0-8108-8836-4 Rowman & Littlefield 2014 That Ellen Johnson's revealing portrait of Sheila Jordan is the first full biography of the eighty five-year old Pennsylvanian-born singer reaffirms the notion that the dominant jazz narrative has always lionized certain artists to the exclusion of others. As the progenitor of the bass and vocal duo Jordan was an innovative figure from the get go. Instigator of arguably the first solo jazz vocal program in America in the late 1970s and one ...read more
Sheila Jordan: At home, New York City, 11th February 2014 This is the first jazz recording I ever heard, it's not even bebop! It's a rebopper! Charlie Parker's Reboppers. There's a whole story behind this record. Charlie Parker alto, Miles Davis, trumpet, Curley Russell, bass and who's on piano? Hen Gates: that was Dizzy [Gillespie]--he couldn't give his real name --and Max Roach on drums. So on the other side is Billie's Bounce" -same personnel. I always sang as a little kid, I never knew what kind of music I wanted ...read more
Sheila Jordan, one of the last great jazz vocalists from the bebop era turns eighty six on 18 November. Happy Birthday Sheila! There's much to celebrate. The Pennsylvanian-born singer's remarkable life story has just been published--the first complete biography to cover Jordan's life and career in detail. Written by Ellen Johnson over seven years, Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) relates Jordan's life from her upbringing in real poverty and her first steps as a teenage bebopper in the late 1940s to her induction as an NEA Jazz Master in 2012. At various ...read more
With Yesterdays, singer Sheila Jordan yet again proves she can take a worn-to-a-sow's-ear standard and--voila!--turn it into a diamond-encrusted silk purse. Her partners in that magic are Harvie S and his beautifully resonating double bass--both assisting ever so deftly in the creative conversion.Offering previously unreleased material from a 1990 live performance, Jordan and S grab onto more than a dozen Great American Songbook warhorses, proving (among other things) that there are additional treasures hidden in these regularly-explored goldmines. The differences in this duo's renditions come from the rare talents of explorers Jordan and S; when these are combined, ...read more
Sheila Jordan has reasons to celebrate: her 80th birthday, a new record company connection and this new CD release, her 21st album under her own name. Taped live at a Montreal jazz club in February of this year, Jordan is joined by a trio of Steve Amirault (piano), Kieran Overs (bass) and Andre White (drums) for an eclectic collection of standards, originals and little-done material along with interspersed dialogue. Jordan has retained the little girl quality in her voice which belies her age. She is adept at scatting as she slips, slides and swoops ...read more
Sheila Jordan has stamped her class as a jazz singer over a career that has spanned 60 years. She has an articulate sense of phrasing and rhythm and she can ad lib at the turn of a note, but it is the emotion she draws out of a lyric that makes her standout. Jordan proves her calibre all over again with Winter Sunshine a CD she recorded live at Upstairs, a jazz club in Montreal, in February 2008.
The selection of well-honed standards and originals are prime material. Jordan embodies the words of a song and brings a sense of ...read more
Her voice really cooks but what is the recipe for the way Sheila Jordan picks songs and transforms them into something special and swinging? Well, you take a quarter Cherokee child raised in poverty in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, you add to it the definitive influence of a genius, Charlie Parker, and mix it all with a hard life, a great and creative voice able to express the soul through melodies and lyrics and... Sheila is ready to serve you plenty of good jazz and meaning.
All About Jazz: If I were a painter what colors should I use ...read more