October 2005

Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan
You Don't Know What Love Is
Louisiana Red Hot Records

First recorded at 19 by Columbia in the days when labels were chasing young talent in the wake of Wynton Marsalis, Marlon Jordan had heavy components of Marsalis and Miles Davis. He still has, but they are further beneath the surface of his style, which finds him, at 35, developing individuality as evidenced on his first album in eight years.

In this New Orleans family gathering, he calls on his father, Kidd Jordan, to provide a tenor sax solo on "My Favorite Things." Dad takes a wild avant-garde ride. Sister Stephanie sings on several tracks, to great effect on "You Leave Me Breathless." We're certain to hear more of her. Sister Rachel is a violinist in the small string section. Uncle Alvin Batiste reminds us in a couple of solos that he is a major clarinetist too seldom heard. Brother Kent, a crossover flute star, goes mainstream in a splendid blues solo, followed by Marlon Jordan in his most original work of the album, without the excessive engineered echo that distracts from some of the tracks. Of the non-Jordans, pianist Darrell Lavigne is a standout.

Originally published in October 2005

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