Sheila Jordan

Heart Strings

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Although sparsely recorded during much of her career, Sheila Jordan has been one of the top jazz singers since 1960. In addition to living the words she sings (a la Billie Holiday), Jordan constantly improvises (few can scat with her sensitivity and swing) and also has the remarkable ability of being able to make up lyrics on the spot that are not only logical but rhyme. Jordan realized a lifelong dream on this Muse CD for she had always wanted to record with a string quartet. Fortunately the group was given colorful arrangements by pianist Alan Broadbent; in addition there are two songs with a standard trio that includes Jordan's longtime bassist Harvie Swartz and a duet with Broadbent. The emphasis is on ballads but typically Sheila Jordan makes each of the songs sound like they must have been written specifically for her, even "Look for the Silver Lining" and "Inch Worm." This is a highly recommended gem.

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