Duke Jordan

Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 1

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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.

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