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*** Clifford Jordan ***


Rooster_Ties
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I'm surprised it's taken this long to reach a mention of Spellbound, one of Jordan's earliest but most impressive recordings. The long version of "Au Privave" at the end is one of my favourite tracks of the period.

Jordan's talents as a composer have been rather strangely underrated. Anthony Braxton was spot on to single out "Toy" as a remarkable composition (it also caught the ear of Cannonball Adderley, who recorded it on an album with Bill Evans). I'm also quite taken by the title composition on Bearcat. -- Bearcat is an excellent album, yes, though I find the rhythm section performance a bit odd--Teddy Smith plays in 2 for virtually the entire album, & JC Moses has a peculiarly bumping, rattly time-feel which I feel works better in the avantgarde contexts he usually playerd in rather than a more conventional context. But I still like the album & play it often--the version of Tom McIntosh's "Malice Towards None" for instance is lovely.

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I'm extremely partial to Clifford Jordan's work on two early Cedar Walton Prestiges - 'Spectrum' and 'The Electric Boogaloo Song'. Jordan and Walton always could deliver the goods. Also recommended is the Hep recording with Howard McGhee's Big Band, 'Cookin' Time', with a great version of Jordan's 'Highest Mountain'.

Another vote too for 'The Pentagon'. A particularly nice listen on vinyl direct-to-disk in the original East Wind version ! B)

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I need to hear more Jordan, but CLIFF CRAFT (BN), THESE ARE MY ROOTS (Atlantic), and LIVE AT ETHELL'S (Mapleshade) are my personal favorites of his so far. The latter is a remarkably good live recording, too, agree with Mike Weill's comments above.

As a sideman: his turn on Art Farmer's BLAME IT ON MY YOUTH (Contemporary) could hardly be bettered.

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I'd like to put a good word in here for two big band sessions: PLAY WHAT YOU FEEL (Mapleshade) and DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS (Milestone), both recorded at Condon's in NYC circa 1990-91. Great line-ups on both with the former boasting Dizzy Reece, Charles Davis, John Jenkins, Junior Cook, Don Sickler & Ronnie Matthews among the members and the latter with Reece, Davis, Jerome Richardson, Matthews, and Vernel Fournier on board.

Great stuff!

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  • 3 months later...

Up for air, and because — even though I'm listening to Jerome Richardson right now — I just ordered Night of the Mark VII. I first heard the version of "John Coltrane" from this set 15 years ago on the radio as part of a Coltrane birthday tribute. Liked it, eventually forgot about it, and just now realized I needed to hear it again! (I have the versions from Glass Bead Games and The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe, but I've always thought this particular live version, as far as I remember it, was the strongest.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

WHAT THE HELL??

Just picked up a used copy of The Adventurer, a Clifford Jordan album I've been meaning to get for some time. The music is just fine, and the cover is of course godawful ugly---this is, after all, 32 Jazz we're talking about. Now, I KNOW that there's been a whole thread about how lame, bland, tacky, and downright terrible 32 Jazz covers tended to be, and I don't want to start another one....BUT---

I had never seen the original Muse front cover for The Adventurer, but 32 Jazz thoughtfully included a reproduction in the booklet, and, in case you missed that, there's a photo of it printed on the inside of the CD tray, about one square inch in size. Now, the original Muse cover photo shows Jordan about to cross a street corner---not the most amazing cover of all time by a long shot, but so much more tasteful and attractive than the thing that 32 Jazz slapped on that it's like night and day. The question inevitably arises: Why couldn't they have just used the original cover? Is it against their religion or something?

Edited by BruceH
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Now, the original Muse cover photo shows Jordan about to cross a street corner---not the most amazing cover of all time by a long shot, but so much more tasteful and attractive than the thing that 32 Jazz slapped on that it's like night and day.

The original Muse cover (one of their best) is a photo of an anonymous "dandy" crossing a street (not Clifford). This shot is obviously from an upper story or rooftop, with a telephoto lens.

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Clifford Jordan exemplified Chicago tenor, hard swinging, huge sound, a master of the blues, and an adventurous streak. "Repetition", the great album with Barry Harris, is one of his very best. In the early to mid-1980's, Jordan and Harris co-led an amazing quartet. I was fortunate to hear them frequently in New York. They were one of the best bands of their era.

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Clifford Jordan exemplified Chicago tenor, hard swinging, huge sound, a master of the blues, and an adventurous streak. "Repetition", the great album with Barry Harris, is one of his very best. In the early to mid-1980's, Jordan and Harris co-led an amazing quartet. I was fortunate to hear them frequently in New York. They were one of the best bands of their era.

Hi, clifton. Great to see you here!

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Lots of good recommendations here - a useful thread indeed. I second the applause for Carmen McRae's "Carmen Sings Monk," although I don't know what's "curious" about it - Carmen was great and this is a superb album. Jordan sounds fabulous on it.

An interesting album is "Big Band Charlie Mingus: Live at Boulogne-Billancourt." Actually there are two volumes, both recorded at the same concert in 1988, which I attended. The sax section was Jordan, David Murray, John Handy and Nick Brignola. (Trumpets: Randy Brecker & Jon Faddis; trombones: Jimmy Knepper & another; rhythm section: Jaki Byard, Reggie Johnson, Billy Hart). This was a Knepper-directed affair that predated the current Mingus Big Band. The music was rather loose and sprawling but the vibe was good and there were some excellent solos. What was particularly cool was watching Murray, the baby in the sax section, as he attentively and appreciatively drank in the solos of his elders. He and John Handy hung on every note Jordan played. Brignola sat somewhat apart from the other saxophonists, with his deadpan, I'm-bad-and-I-don't-have-to-get-excited-because-I-can-prove-it look; and he proved it. Knepper told dirty jokes to the well-dressed Parisian audience, which was bewildered.

Anyway, it was my first exposure to Jordan and I loved it. Elegant, economic lines, so beautifully constructed, and what a sound.

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Guest youmustbe

Once, when Clifford was with Mingus, playing at Birdland, opposite Coltrane, he was late for the set, so Mingus asked Trane, who had just finished his set, to sit in. Trane did, read the parts, did the whole set, while Clifford stayed at the bar.

When it was over, Trane went on with his next set. In those days, when one band finished, the next went on right away. So, Trane played 3 hours straight.

(Elvin was late a lot of times, so whoever was the drummer for the opening act, would stay and play the first tune or two with John until Elvin arrived. )

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  • 4 months later...

Then there's a nice (european) release of late Jordan called "Clifford Jordan meets Klaus Weiss", recorded in Vienna in 1987 it features Jordan with John Schröder, g; Roberto di Gioia, p; Thomas Stabenow, b; Klaus Weiss, d.

Find more here

ubu

DUDE!

A good friend just hooked me up with a copy of this, and it's BAAAAADDDD. Clifford's got his burr on real nice, and the rhythm section SMOKES! Probably a bitch-and-a-half to find, but well worth it!

I see that nobody's commented on SOUL FOUNTAIN. It's good, not great. If you can find a good deal on it and want something short and hiply entertaining, get it. There's far worse music to buy.

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  • 3 months later...

e82836non8q.jpg

Mentioned already by Joe and Bruce, but I wanted to bring attention back to this particular two-fer. Not only is the music great (particularly Starting Time), but the original recording by Ray Fowler (and subsequent remastering by Kirk Felton) is fairly amazing. The horns are dramatically up-front — right there on your lap — but somehow they don't drown out the contributions of the rhythm section. (If you're a Wilbur Ware fan, you need to add this to your collection!) Both albums, originally on Jazzland, are some of the best-sounding I have on compact disc. And, sonics aside, Jordan's solos ... like your favorite slice of cheesecake and cappuccino: scrumptious.

(And I didn't even get started on Dorham's contributions ... )

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One more recommendation for the Mapleshade recordings of Clifford Jordan. Right now, the label promotes a special offer: If you order four or more CDs from the directly, you get them for $ 9.60 each, which is a bargain.

If you don't yet have them ...

I especially recommend Live at Ethell's and the collaborations with Ran Blake.

Among other artists from the label, the Hamiet Bluiett produced series and Larry Willis' albums deserve mention.

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Then there's a nice (european) release of late Jordan called "Clifford Jordan meets Klaus Weiss", recorded in Vienna in 1987 it features Jordan with John Schröder, g; Roberto di Gioia, p; Thomas Stabenow, b; Klaus Weiss, d.

Find more here

ubu

DUDE!

A good friend just hooked me up with a copy of this, and it's BAAAAADDDD. Clifford's got his burr on real nice, and the rhythm section SMOKES! Probably a bitch-and-a-half to find, but well worth it!

This one found me several years ago in a hole-in-the-wall used CD shop that no longer exists. Sometimes it does pay to beat the pavement!

My copy is german, from 1988 (recorded Feb 9, 1987) on Jazzline / Delta music ("an ORF production"). The title is KLAUS WEISS QUINTETT (yes, two T's) FEATURING CLIFFORD JORDAN / LIVE AT OPUS 1.

Jordan-ts; Weiss-d; John Schroeder-g; Roberto Di Gioia-p; Thomas Stabenow-b

blue 'n boogie

eyewitness blues

lush life

highest mountain

L.A. calling

lover man

don't get around much anymore

una noche con francis

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The "two T's" are the proper German way of spelling ...

This was also sold as an audiophile double LP with identical content; the band toured with Jordan, I missed them in Frankfurt - it wasn't sure wether Jordan could make the gig, so I skipped it, only to learn from a friend a few days later that he had played magnificently that evening! So it goes - a few years later he was gone ... :(

Weiss was one of the first German drummers playing really well with "American" feeling; his band did several recommendable LPs that are hard to find now, one with mal Waldron guesting.

Edited by mikeweil
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Tthanks for the informattion, Mike. ;);)

Forgot to mention- the PENTAGON session which somebody (maybe me?) mentioned back when this thread was in its infancy has been released on (mini-LP) CD out of Japan. Got mine from Dusty G around December of last year.

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Weiss was one of the first German drummers playing really well with "American" feeling; his band did several recommendable LPs that are hard to find now, one with mal Waldron guesting.

The same friend who hooked me up w/this one also provided a copy of one w/Billy Harper that is very good as well.

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