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God Bless Clifford Jordan for being an underrated Giant of the music and for recording one of the greatest jazz albums of all times. How well I remember when this Strata East album came out in my second year of college and how me and my friends all went through several copies from LP overplay. Mr Jordan has made numerous great recordings including one that is nearly impossible to find: a direct to disc LP from Japan called "Hello Hank Jones". If you are lucky enough to find it, don't hesitate to pay and pay well - You will not be disappointed.
Thank you Sam Chell for a insightful analysis of this much overlooked recording. You are correct about the first Jpn issue on CD. It was put out on 2 separate Cds which was a waste since all 12 songs fit on a single disc. Since that time Bomba records in Jpn reissued it as a single and complete CD in their mini LP cardboard sleeve format that people either love or hate. It has a glossy format and is a gatefold just like the original! Nobody beats the Japanese for keeping true to the original issue.
Thanks, Lehman. You're the first person I've heard from who appreciated the album for what it was even at the time of its release. I heard it several months ago for the first time and just can't stop playing it. It never wears out its welcome. It's nice that an artist like Carmen McCrae appreciated him, though kind of sad that towards the end he had to depend upon her drawing power for a chance to be heard--usually just a couple of spots during a set. Glass Bead Games Is right up there with Kind of Blue in my book.
I didn't know about the Japan MLP. Often the inner notes are in Japanese and the English notes on the back cover will be printed so small you can't make out a thing. And they don't fit into most conventional CD carriers, shelves, etc., not to mention $30-40 for the disc. Sometimes the Japanese issues actually are LPs (as I found out recently, when I thought I was ordering the MLP import of a recording). In that case, I'd probably spring for another copy.
(Thanks for the tip on Hello Hank Jones. That's definitely at the top of my list.)
Sam: just got to read your review on Jordan. It was quite a departure from what I normally read as a review. Bravo for the extended play...joussiance that was new one for me. How did you get Kellman to let you write so much....just kidding.
I now will have to get this CD and listen!
Best, Ralph Miriello
It's OK to expect to be intrigued on the first listen, but don't expect to be blown away. This one crawls under your skin and stays there. As perfect a recording as Kind of Blue. "Jouissance" is a good one to know--"textual erotics" courtesy of a French post-Freudian (Lacan) and later modified and popularized by Roland Barthes. There really is no English substitute for the word, which roughly translates as "the painful ecstasy of the realization and experiencing of freedom."
I have several recordings by Clifford or those he plays on and have always enjoyed listening to him. Ordered this on the basis of this well thought our review from one of this site's sponsors, JazzLoft. Again thanks
I've got him with Sonny Red (Jazzland) and Carmen McRae (Denon), and I've ordered his meeting with John Gilmore. There's footage of him with Mingus and Dolphy on youtube, and I caught him a couple of times in Chicago "tenor battles," but that really wasn't his element. Interesting note about the sponsorship, but I assure you it didn't influence the positive review.
I became a Clifford Jordan fan after hearing the Mingus band. I heard the Billy Hart Quartet performing the John Coltrane piece and instantly loved it. Which brought to Glass Bead Games. Mr. Chell is so right about this album. It rises far above most recordings I've heard. Its not just head-solo-solo-head stuff, but it reminds me off a game we played as kids trying to keep a big ball in play bouncing on a sheet of linen, everyone plays and everyone contributes, and everyone changes the state of play. And Billy Higgins is inbelievable, keeps everything loose--my favorite drummer. Thanks for mind openin' review!
Just got this recording! WOW! I whole heartedly appreciate your review~
Jane Ira Bloom
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