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Album Review

This was a breakthrough recording for Sheila Jordan. She recorded a superb album for Blue Note in 1962 and then was off records (and only working in jazz on a part-time basis) up until the mid-'70s. She cut two albums for tiny labels and then came this, the first of her vocal-bass duet recordings. While in later years bassist Harvie Swartz would be her frequent musical partner, Jordan's SteepleChase set features the talented Arild Andersen on bass. The communication between the two often borders on the miraculous and it is a pleasure to hear Sheila Jordan's fresh and original interpretations of such songs as "Lush Life," "On Green Dolphin Street," "Don't Explain" and "Better than Anything."

Customer Reviews

Sheila Jordan is simply the best!

The way Sheila Jordan sings makes her not only a singer but also a musician. She sings her songs like a Horn player plays.. it is OUT OF SIGHT! She has more feeling in 1 note than Diana Krall or any of the other so called Singers have in an entire album. She was also the FIRST jazz singer to recorded on the Blue Note label (this album). Do yourself a favor, and get this abulm and another others you can get your hands on. You will not be sorry!!

A unique gem

I wore this out in 2 formats before buying the CD. Sheila is an acquired taste, but if you open up to her style the emotional content, swing, and sheer love of music she conveys will take you away. "What are you doing the rest of your life" is incredible - even my wife who doesn't understand why I like jazz loves it. This version of "Don't Explain" is best I have heard period. "Better Than Anything" is plain fun, and "Please Don't Talk..." swings in classic Sheila form. Anderson's playing is phenomenal. Arild has a beautiful warm tone, and for me, is a big reason this album is so powerful. I had the priviledge of seeing Sheila with Harvey Schwartz at Painted Bride in Philly many years ago, and she is a special kind of person. Peronally, I don't think it's fair to compare her to a Diana Krall who is talented in her own way - certainly it's not a comparison Krall would seek out. Let's just say Sheila is a one of a kind, underappreciated jazz legend. If you can find her work with Steve Kuhn trio, I highly recommend that.


Born: November 18, 1928 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most consistently creative of all jazz singers, Sheila Jordan has a relatively small voice, but has done the maximum with her instrument. She is one of the few vocalists who can improvise logical lyrics (which often rhyme), she is a superb scat singer, and is also an emotional interpreter of ballads. Yet despite her talents, Jordan spent much of the 1960s and '70s working at a conventional day job. She studied piano when she was 11 and early on, sang vocalese in a vocal group. Jordan moved...
Full Bio
Sheila, Sheila Jordan
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