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Two Loves

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Album Review

The companion piece to Flight to Denmark, Duke Jordan's Two Loves was compiled from the same two recording dates in late 1973. Although he had built a solid resume working with Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Stan Getz, Gene Ammons, Art Farmer, and Oscar Pettiford, he fell into obscurity during the early '60s, leaving the jazz scene to spend over five years driving a cab in New York. In 1973, the pianist was invited to tour Denmark and, not having recorded since 1962, Jordan began doing sessions for SteepleChase records. These dates were the first products of what was to become a prolific relationship with the Danish label. Joined by drummer Ed Thigpen (Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Ella Fitzgerald) and Danish bassist Mads Vinding, Jordan performs five original compositions, three standards, and Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk." Jordan's style is perhaps the most subdued of the first generation bebop pianists; his touch is gentle, his chords are simply constructed, and his preference for medium tempos is evident. Though not the most flashy of beboppers, Jordan is quite an excellent composer. (His "Jordu" remains a favorite of many contemporary players.) The bluesy original "Subway Inn" is reminiscent of Bobby Timmons' popular "Moanin'" with its call and response motif. Best on this date, though, is the bittersweet title track, "Two Loves," which Jordan performs on solo piano. The harmonic inspiration of Tadd Dameron and John Coltrane can be felt in this composition. Overall, an enjoyable session despite a piano with less than perfect intonation and an unfortunately dry drum sound.


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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Two Loves, Duke Jordan
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