04/01/12 By Vincent Sylvain
Stephanie Jordan Tribute CD to Lena Horne CD Release Party at Café Istanbul on Friday, April 13 in New Orleans
Stephanie Jordan Sings a Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne; Yesterday When I Was Young
NEW ORLEANS – The long awaited debut album by New Orleans jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan has finally arrived. The Stephanie Jordan Big Band will host a CD Release Party at Café Istanbul during French Quarter Fest weekend in the Healing Center located at 2372 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans. Louisiana on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM. The new CD; “Stephanie Jordan Sings a Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne” honors the legendary Grammy Award winner who starred in many films and whose music has been hailed as masterpieces.
Noted jazz critic Ted Panken writes, “Great lyrics permeate this beautifully rendered homage, and Jordan has the skill sets to do them justice—a voice that projects from a whisper to a scream, impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, fluid phrasing. Backed by a breathe-as-one 8-piece unit of top-shelf New Orleanians that sounds twice its size, and counterstated by a cohort of virtuoso soloists, she finds fresh, unfailingly swinging approaches to this well-traveled repertoire, melding into a personal argot elements garnered from such distinguished mentors as Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Nancy Wilson—and Lena Horne herself—while sounding like no one other than Stephanie Jordan. As she aptly puts it, “it’s a tribute, not a copy.”
Panken continues, “The album’s title track, Yesterday When I Was Young, a Charles Aznavour gem that Horne documented on the 1969 LP Lena and Gabor. Jordan’s sodium pentothal treatment—the truth WILL be told—is evocative of the magical phrasing of Shirley Horn, a close friend of Jordan from her D.C. days.”
The full album continues Jordan’s signature treatment of jazz standards from the Big Band era performed with select solos by her father Edward “Kidd” Jordan; her brothers trumpeter Marlon and flutist Kent Jordan; and Uncle Maynard Chatters. Roderick Paulin’s solo treatment on Stormy Weather is enchanting while Emmy Award recipient Mike Esneault provides musical utopia on the keys throughout the album.
Jordan’s only regret is that Horne isn’t around to hear this heartfelt offering. “I was two years into doing tributes to Lena, when she died,” she says. “It was devastating to me.
The full line-up of musicians includes; Mike Esneault, Arranger, Piano; Bobby Campo, Trumpet; Blake Daniels, Trumpet; Troy Davis, Drums and Percussions; Tony Dagradi, Baritone Sax; B.J. McGibney, Trombone; Roderick Paulin, Tenor Sax; Chris Severin, Bass; Maynard Chatters, Trombone; Steve Masakowski, Guitar; Edward Kidd Jordan, Tenor Sax; Kent Jordan, Flute; and Marlon Jordan, Trumpet.
“Jordan said that 16-years ago, a month long singing engagement in Istanbul, Turkey was the first time that she had traveled alone out of the US. “It was then that I began to believe that she could be a professional jazz singer. I remember thinking, wow; exotic places, worldwide travel, and glamorous surroundings, this could work. At the Palace Hotel where I was residing for the performance hung a beautiful painting of New Orleans’ own Sidney Bechet. That confirmed that jazz was the route for me.” The reflections of that trip are the reasons why Jordan said she chose Café Istanbul as the site for her CD release.
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