jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

October 3, 2008

Jazz Vocal Great Sheila Jordan in Calgary

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz concerts, Canada

Sheila Jordan

Sheila Jordan
Oct. 27 at 8:00 pm
Centre for Positive Living, Calgary

Jordan Marks 80th Birthday With Concert Performance

Considered one of the most consistently creative jazz artists of all time, vocalist Sheila Jordan appears in Calgary one night only on October 27th at the Centre for Positive Living.

Joining Ms. Jordan for the concert are Edmonton’s Andrew Glover (piano), Mike Lent (bass) and Sandro Dominelli (drums).

Critically acclaimed for her innovative interpretations and considerable improvisational talent, Sheila Jordan is often referred to as a “musician’s singer.” Renowned for her ability to reinvent melody, harmony and lyrics in her performances of standards as well as her own compositions, her adventurous, joyful performances are redolent with her two main inspirations, Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday and cover musical terrain that includes bebop, blues Tin Pan Alley, Hebraic and Native American chants.

Sheila Jordan’s performance and recording credits span nearly five decades, breaking jazz ground from the start. One of a handful of singers to be featured as a leader at the time on the Blue Note label (Portrait of Sheila – 1962), her collaborations include modern jazz master George Russell (The Outer Limits/You are My Sunshine); bassist Harvey Swartz, with whom she recorded and performed in a duo format; and such greats as Steve Kuhn, Roswell Rudd, Carla Bley, Cameron Brown and many others.

Born November 18, 1928 in Detroit and growing up in the coal mining are of Pennsylvania, Sheila returned to her native home during the early 40’s, appearing in local clubs with bassists Paul Chambers and Doug Watkins and as part of the vocalese trio, ‘Skeeter, Mitch and Jean’, who composed lyrics for and performed Charlie Parker arrangements.

She moved to New York in the late 40’s, where she studyied harmony and theory with Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh. She formed musical friendships with Charles Mingus and her idol, Charlie Parker, whose band featured her future husband, pianist Duke Jordan. The marriage lasted ten years and produced a daughter, whom Sheila unfailingly acknowledges during every performance.

A sought-after teacher, Sheila inspires with her extensive experience and skill as a musician, but perhaps the greatest inspiration she offers students (and fans) is her selflessness, determination and gratitude, which she freely expresses in an article by Andrew Rowan (All About Jazz, December 2, 2005) “I think of myself as only a messenger – either by singing or teaching. I am full of gratitude and joy that I have had the determination to keep it in my life all these years. I am finally able to spread the word and help to keep this wonderful music alive: That is what I feel every time I walk on stage.”

Sheila Jordan
with Andrew Glover (piano), Mike Lent (bass), Sandro Dominelli (drums)
Monday, Oct. 27
Centre for Positive Living
103 – 17 Ave SE
Tix: $25 at www.jazzelements.com/store

for more info visit www.sheilajordanjazz.com

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