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CD Review: Stanley Jordan "Friends"
September 30, 2011

  Release Date 09/27/11 











 Review By: Darcella Curtis 


Stanley Jordan "Friends"
Mack Avenue Records
Appropriately entitled, Jordan's latest musical venture, “Friends,” include many other Jazz greats, such as violinist Regina Carter; guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli, Mike Stern, Russell Malone and Charlie Hunter; saxophonists Kenny Garrett and Ronnie Laws; trumpeter Nicholas Payton; bassists Christian McBride and Charnett Moffett; and drummer Kenwood Dennard. Jordan not only uses his unique guitar and piano skills in this album, but he also demonstrates the ability to bring together an eclectic group of artists, whose talents are able to feed off each other, making this timeless album one that is sure to please not only the jazz connoisseur but the novice as well.

This jazz compilation takes listeners on a journey from the upbeat and spicy, Capital J, which features Garrett on tenor saxophone and Payton on trumpet; and continues down the road with Walkin' the Dog, featuring guitarist, Hunter. Lil' Darlin', a smooth and sultry track, features guitarist Pizzarelli, and adds a mellow flavor to round out the other selections. Other notable selections, include, I Kissed a Girl, which highlights Jordan's mastery of the piano and guitar. Two classical selections include, Romantic Intermezzo from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra featuring violin virtuoso, Carter and Reverie, featuring the trio of Jordan, Moffett on bass and Dennard on drums. The album also includes: Giant Steps, featuring guitarist, Stern; Samba Delight featuring Laws on soprano saxophone and Carter on violin; Seven Comes Eleven, featuring Pizzarelli and Malone; and, an original piece, Bathed in Light, featuring bassist, McBride. The albums final track, One for Milton, is a tribute to composer Milton Babbit (1916-2011).

Although some tracks may not be appealing to all listeners, Friends include a variety of musical styles beginning with contemporary jazz and ending with the classical. And true to Jordan form, he also includes music with a blues feel and a pop hit just to round out this 11 track album. Jordan exhibits a wide range and provides music that is sure to fit most any occasion.







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