Creatively, Stanley Jordan had more ups than downs during his years at Blue Note. Not everything he did for the label was great, but more often than not, the chances that he took paid off. Spanning 1985-1990, this collection draws on several albums and paints a generally impressive picture of the fusion/post-bop guitarist's Blue Note output. Four of the CD's 11 selections are Jordan originals -- including the lyrical "All the Children," the B.B. King-influenced "Still Got the Blues," and the playful "Jumpin' Jack" -- while the other seven underscore his talents as an interpreter of other composers' material. Jordan has always had eclectic taste in music -- he's far from a jazz snob -- and this album finds him interpreting everything from John Coltrane's "Impressions," Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia on my Mind," and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things" to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," and the Michael Jackson smash "The Lady in My Life." Interpret is the key word here. At a time when many NAC artists were offering note-for-note pop covers and calling them jazz, Jordan was giving well-known rock and R&B hits serious jazz-fusion makeovers and bringing something personal and distinctive to them. For those who've never purchased one of Jordan's albums, The Best of Stanley Jordan would be a logical starting point.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson