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Album Review

Clifford Jordan was still an important tenor saxophonist during the years prior to his death in 1993, though his final recording for Criss Cross is one of his lesser known dates. With pianist Kevin O'Connell, bassist Ed Howard and Ahmad Jamal's former drummer Vernell Fournier, Jordan's performances are all top-shelf quality throughout this 1986 session. In addition to a swinging waltz treatment of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and a gorgeous rendition of the standard "Little Girl Blue," he explores the music of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk with equally strong results. The leader's sole original is "Royal Blue," which has a tense, somewhat menacing introduction, then lightens up into a more familiar closing-hour blues setting as Jordan finally makes his entrance. The drummer contributed the easygoing Latin tune "Armando." Any fan of Clifford Jordan will want to seek out this release.


Born: September 2, 1931 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

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

Clifford Jordan was a fine inside/outside player who somehow held his own with Eric Dolphy in the 1964 Charles Mingus Sextet. Jordan had his own sound on tenor almost from the start. He gigged around Chicago with Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, and some R&B groups before moving to New York in 1957. Jordan immediately made a strong impression, leading three albums for Blue Note (including a meeting with fellow tenor John Gilmore) and touring with Horace Silver (1957-1958), J.J. Johnson (1959-1960), Kenny...
Full Bio
Royal Ballads, Clifford Jordan Quartet
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  • $7.92
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Dec 23, 1986
  • Clean

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