There are three previously unissued recordings on the Marshmallow label for jazz pianist Duke Jordan that have come onto the marketplace. This is the best of them, a nightclub date at the famous Duc Des Lombards on the legendary jazz strip in Paris, France. It's a trio led by Jordan with lesser-known bassist Luigi Trussardi on bass and drummer Al Levitt, who both honor their roles as rhythm mates admirably, if not unspectacularly. Jordan sounds great on this program of standards, adaptations of standards, and three of his originals. Jordan's facile, witty, clean, and literate piano shines through, and in fact never sounded better even though this was near the end of his life. There's an easy, cool, and classy stance taken by Jordan on his "Fuji Blues" which sounds similar to "Dear Old Stockholm," two-fisted dramatic piano chords driving the original post-bop swinger "King Finn's a Ball" bearing resemblance to "Close Enough for Love," and Jordan's all-time classic, his original "Jordu," which by now many talented pianists play. On the version of "Jordu," Jordan takes liberties with the melody, expounding and extrapolating on the second chorus. He takes the well established note sequence of "Sweet Georgia Brown" as written the second time around, but the first time through, he substitutes completely reharmonized lines. "I Surrender Dear" is done in a classical stride solo manner, his cascading, flowing melody line on the ballad "Everything Happens to Me" turns dour to bright, and more polite classicism accents "It's Alright with Me." This is an item Duke Jordan collectors will want, as the music is well done, digitally reproduced immaculately, and is a worthy item in this underrated jazzman's discography.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos
feat: Thierry Bruneau