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Mood Indigo

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Album Review

Taft Jordan is someone who should have done a lot more recording as a leader, but regrettably, the swing trumpeter recorded only a handful of albums. One of them was 1961's Mood Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington (Jordan's employer from 1943 to1947). With sidemen including guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Joe Benjamin, and drummer Charlie Persip, the album underscored the fact that Jordan was an expressive, highly accessible soloist who was as swinging as he was melodic. In fact, his lyricism on familiar Ellington pieces like "Sophisticated Lady," "Mood Indigo," "I Didn't Know About You," and "In a Sentimental Mood" is simply gorgeous. [A 1999 Fantasy reissue added six 1960 recordings from the Swingsville All-Stars, a sextet that united Jordan with tenor saxman Al Sears (another Ellington associate), alto saxman Hilton Jefferson, pianist Don Abney, bassist Wendall Marshall, and drummer Gus Johnson.]


Born: 15 February 1915 in Florence, SC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

A fine trumpeter, Taft Jordan was known early in his career (when he joined Chick Webb) as a Louis Armstrong sound-alike both on trumpet and vocals. In fact, his recording of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" was so close to Armstrong's live show that when Armstrong got around to documenting it the following year, some listeners thought he was copying Jordan. Taft Jordan had played and recorded with the Washboard Rhythm Kings before starting his long stint with Webb (1933-1942), which continued after...
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Mood Indigo, Taft Jordan
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