Stanley Jordan / Stanley Jordan Trio

New Morning: The Paris Concert [DVD]

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Stanley Jordan opened a lot of ears in his early years with his unusual method of tapping the guitar instead of picking or strumming it, after a number of recordings in the late 1980s and early '90s, he slowed down his output, seeming to disappear altogether. This concert videotaped in 2007 at New Morning in Paris not only finds him revisiting familiar material, but also unveiling a few surprises, joined by bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer David Haynes. Following his solo opener of "Yesterday," Jordan plays a demanding duet on piano and guitar, eventually adding his rhythm section as he segues from his solo improvisation into Horace Silver's "Song for My Father." Moffett opens the next number unaccompanied with a fast-paced solo, though things slow down as the trio begins "All Blues," with Jordan playing each instrument with one hand. Other highlights include "Improvised Excerpt from Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, 2nd Movement," alternating between the two instruments and simultaneously playing them; a fairly straight-ahead, lively trio rendition of "Now's the Time" (with Jordan back on guitar); along with his intricate, mesmerizing solo-guitar arrangement of "Naima." The fact that Stanley Jordan chose not to stick to one approach to jazz that was proving commercially successful but continued his musical exploration and self-education is strongly evident in this highly recommended DVD. In a separate interview, he explains his influences and background, revealing that he studied piano prior to guitar.

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