All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
With Yesterdays, singer Sheila Jordan yet again proves she can take a worn-to-a-sow's-ear standard andvoila!turn it into a diamond-encrusted silk purse. Her partners in that magic are Harvie S and his beautifully resonating double bassboth 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, old gold seems brilliantly new.
Much has been writtenand deservedly soabout Jordan and her incredible bop-tinged vocal instrument. Here, with the finesse and balletic skill of a Cirque du Soleil gymnast ("Better Than Anything," "You Don't Know What Love Is"), she embraces her melodies superbly and still provides constant surprises. That's a musical instrument at work. That expected next note or ensuing phrase gets surprising embellishmentregister or dynamic alteration. Only the greatest jazz artistssaxophonist Charlie Parker being an example (and a major influence on a young Jordan), along with vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughanwere also blessed with that skill.
Jordan has frequently stated her love of the bass and the freedom it provides as a musical partner. The profundity of its sound, and its rhythmic/harmonic drive, become a launch platform for her escapades above. It is as if Jordan embraces S' bass sound in the same manner that the bassist caresses his instrument.
Yesterdays is indeed a silk purseone encrusted with the musical jewels that these two musicians have gathered.
Track Listing: Yesterdays; Better Than Anything; The Very Thought of You; You Don't
Know What Love Is; Fats Waller Medley: Honeysuckle Rose/Ain't
Misbehavin'; Mood Indigo; Waltz for Debby (Lazy Day); I Concentrate on You; Lazy Afternoon; Blue Skies; Fred Astaire Medley: Let's Face the Music and Dance/Cheek to Cheek/I Could Have Danced All Night.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.