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Solo Master Pieces, Vol. 1

Duke Jordan

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Album Review

Duke Jordan spent his later years living and working in Europe, where he developed a strong relationship with producer Nils Winther, owner of Steeplechase, who gave him many opportunities to record. This volume, the first of two, is a bit unusual, in that it consists exclusively of solo piano treatments of originals. He does revisit a few of his earlier works, like the lush, hypnotic ballad "Kiss of Spain," while "Mellow Mood" is an obvious variation of Jordan's well-known composition "Jordu." "Night Train from Snekkersten" has the rumbling bass of many earlier train themes; the middle part is more focused on his right hand. It often seems during these sessions that the pianist is playing for himself, trying out ideas as they come to him, rather than having rehearsed a lot of new material before entering the studio. This isn't quite an essential part of Duke Jordan's vast discography, though fans of solo piano will want to investigate it for themselves.


Born: 01 April 1922 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Although he had a long career, Duke Jordan will always be best known for being pianist with Charlie Parker's classic 1947 quintet. A little earlier, he worked with the Savoy Sultans, Coleman Hawkins, and the Roy Eldridge big band (1946). After his year with Parker (his piano introductions to such songs as "Embraceable You" were classic), Jordan worked with the Sonny Stitt/Gene Ammons quintet (1950-1951) and Stan Getz (1949 and 1952-1953). He started recording as a leader in 1954, debuting his most...
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Solo Master Pieces, Vol. 1, Duke Jordan
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