Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Duke Jordan Trio: Flight to Norway

Now nearly 82, Duke Jordan is reliving the bittersweet memories of an expatriate in Copenhagen (poor health keeps him away from his keyboard). There were a few lows in Scandinavia in the ’60s, but nothing could compare to the humiliation of driving a cab for a living in New York in the ’50s. As for highs, what could compare to being hired by Charlie Parker for Bird’s fabled 1947 band? Next to that, the big comeback in Scandinavia starting in the ’70s, where Jordan played with a who’s who of rhythm sections-among them this one with bassist Wilbur Little and drummer Dannie Richmond for a live 1978 club date in Høvikodden, released as Flight to Norway (Steeplechase). The recording includes the usual problems: drums too loud; bass too soft. Jordan is just right, and that’s all that matters. He was always just right: tasteful, melodic, harmonically creative; swinging with restraint and elegance; and quoting other tunes not to be cute but because it lent continuity. Highlights: “I Should Care,” his original “Jealous Blues” and the brief reference to his signature sign-off, “Jor-du.”

Originally Published