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Sheila Jordan: Winter Sunshine

Marcia Hillman By

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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 around a melody and also can improvise a lyric as she does in a slow-tempo "Lady Be Good." In addition to scatting, on the odd little song "Whose Little Angry Man Are You?," Jordan employs a chanting style which she attributes to her grandfather's Native American heritage.

At a recent performance at New York's Dizzy's Club (Nov. 18, 2008, her actual birthday), she also employed the chanting style on several songs. Accompanied by different personnel—Steve Kuhn (piano), David Finck (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums) as well as a string quartet—she did a totally different selection of material with the exception of two songs from the CD: the playful "Dat Dere," done only with bass accompaniment, and her autobiographical original "The Crossing," which celebrates her recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The addition of the string quartet on the latter gave it a more hymn-like dimension.

This CD displays Jordan's enjoyment at being able to do what she does. In fact, she is "amazed" at still being out there. Besides, it's remarkable to hear an 80-year-old woman singing a love song and being able to believe her. Sheila Jordan remains a timeless, one-of a-kind, jazz delight.

Track Listing: Comes Love; I Remember You; Lady Be Good; Whose Little Angry Man Are You?; Dat Dere; Ballad For Miles/It Never Entered My Mind; All God's Chillun Got Rhythm/Little Willie Leaps; The Crossing; Sheila's Blues.

Personnel: Sheila Jordan: vocals; Steve Amirault: piano; Kieran Overs: bass; Andre White: drums.

Title: Winter Sunshine | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Justin Time Records

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