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Stanley Jordan: State of Nature (2008)

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Stanley Jordan: State of Nature How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Guitarist Stanley Jordan has been dazzling audiences since the mid-1980s with his innovative, two-hand tapping approach. His 1985 Blue Note Records debut, Magic Touch achieved commercial success and secured his position in the music industry as a bona fide guitar hero. On State of Nature, Jordan's debut for the Detroit-based Mack Avenue Records, Jordan, along with bassist Charnett Moffett and drummers David Haynes and Kenwood Dennard, showcases his pioneering technique through a well conceived program of standards and original material.

Highlights include the well arranged lengthy opener "A Place in Space" and the solo guitar tour de force "Andante from Mozart's Piano Concerto #21." For a handful of tracks, the California native adds another dimension to his jaw-dropping technical display by playing piano and guitar simultaneously. It turns out Jordan is no slouch as a pianist, improvising fluid right hand solos with the same emotional fervor he executes on guitar.

As impressive as this is, however, the decision to showcase such an approach with tired, overdone selections like Miles Davis' "All Blues" and Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" proves to be uneventful. The disc closes with an uplifting romp through Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," featuring soulful guitar licks and smooth vocalizing by Jordan's daughter Julia.

Track Listing: A Place in Space; All Blues; Forest Garden; Insensatez (How Insensitive); Andante from Mozarts Piano Concerto #21; Song for My Father; Mind Games #1; Ocean Breeze; Healing Waves; Mind Games #2; Shadow Games; Mind Games #3; Prayer for the Sea; Steppin' Out.

Personnel: Stanley Jordan: guitar; Charnett Moffett: bass; David Haynes: drums; Kenwood Dennard: drums.

Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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