Search - Sheila Jordan :: Jazz Child

Jazz Child
Sheila Jordan
Jazz Child
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Vocalist Sheila Jordan has been working small wonders on the periphery of jazz popularity for decades, producing a uniformly impressive and adventurous body of work in the process. Jazz Child, a characteristically eclectic...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Sheila Jordan
Title: Jazz Child
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: HighNote Records
Original Release Date: 5/11/1999
Re-Release Date: 5/18/1999
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Vocal Jazz, Bebop, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 632375702922

Vocalist Sheila Jordan has been working small wonders on the periphery of jazz popularity for decades, producing a uniformly impressive and adventurous body of work in the process. Jazz Child, a characteristically eclectic outing, continues her stealth campaign with another low-key, high-impact set of enlightened explorations. Jordan, one of the most musical of modern singers, doesn't get in your face with overwrought vocal theatrics. Her jazz sensibilities are so advanced and so innate that, like Carmen McRae, she seems to come at songs from the inside out. Standards such as "My Funny Valentine" are opened up and reconfigured to reveal fresh new facets while less familiar songs, like Abbey Lincoln's Charlie Parker tribute "Bird Alone," take flight on the wings of her improvisational expertise. When she takes on still more challenging material, such as avant icon Don Cherry's "Art Deco," complete with lyrics she composed, there is no female jazz singer who can match her combination of quiet fire and deft finesse. Pianist Steve Kuhn, with whom the singer performed and recorded in the '70s, underpins her efforts with his trio. Kuhn's economical but evocative piano work is a perfect match for Jordan's masterful minimalism as he anticipates and embellishes her every subtle nuance, whether she's scatting, swinging, or just sailing along in her own private vocal universe. --Michael Point

CD Reviews

One of our very best singers!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had the pleasure of buying this cd directly from Ms. Jordan during her most recent appearance at the great Chicago club, the Green Mill. It has been in stores for a number of weeks and yet I have seen no mention of it in the press... Ms. Jordan merits much, much more attention than she gets and it is a shame that this 70 year old artist is not universally acclaimed as the preeminent singer that she is. This latest album, on the new High Note label, is another watermark in a career that has seen a limited number of recordings -- but all of them quality products. Jazz Child includes a ravishing My Funny Valentine, preceded by a heartfelt tribute to Miles Davis that outshines in simplicity the tributes of Cassandra Wilson and Shirley Horn (which is not to disparage those singers...but only to highlight the Sheila's Art and the way marketing makes all the difference in people's perception of beauty). The album features another tribute to the late Don Cherry -- a sung version of Art Deco with lyrics supplied by Ms. Jordan at Cherry's request. Along with her long held respect for the trumpeter Tom Harrell and his work (the album features one of Harrell's compositions), this emphasis on trumpeters parallels the sympathy Ms. Jordan has for bass players. Her bass-voice duets are truly legendary. On Jazz Child she receives eloquent support from the Steve Kuhn trio (ECM really needs to transfer their Kuhn-Jordan recordings to CD!!!). Sheila also proves her commitment to young artists by allowing a protege, Theo Bleckmann, ample space in a pair of duets. This woman is an artist in the true sense of the word: she transforms her experience into objects of wonder and she transforms her listeners as well. I am grateful to her for all she represents, her faith in the music, and her ability to live a life where singing makes a difference. MORE PLEASE! And to those not yet in the know...check her out."
Sheila at seventy sounds like a wise twenty-five.
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sheila Jordan has been the ultimate jazz child from her early teen days tottering up that Detroit alley in her momma's high heels to listen to Charlie Parker through the back window of some club. ("I loved Bird so much," she admits, "that I married his piano player.") On this new release, Sheila re-unites with iconoclastic pianist Steve Kuhn and the results are marvelous. Singing chestnuts and bebop and even Jimmy Webb's "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress," Sheila shows that none of her rhythmic drive, harmonic invention and melodic sense have waned - and she's still the best reader of lyrics we've had since Billie Holiday. Check out the free intro she does in tribute to Miles Davis before getting her teeth into an all-time great version of "My Funny Valentine." If this stuff doesn't move you, you're dead."