June 17, 2024
Stanley Jordan
Live @ Scullers Jazz Club
Boston – May 22, 2009
Matt Robinson

Despite the fact that it is the best Jazz room in Boston, it is good to know that, even in tough times, people will come out to hear good music…And boy DID they!

Packed so tightly that the wait staff had to ask the artists to let them pass, the Scullers faithful came to witness the spectacle that is a Stanley Jordan concert.

And they were NOT disappointed!

Backed by bald (by choice) bass monster Charnett Moffett and drummer Kenwood Dennard (whose mighty dreds seemed to grow in the creative bombast that he laid out in a nearly endless stream of skins and cymbals), Jordan opened the extended set with some aquatic arpeggios and arrabiatad noodlings that set the table for the diverse note feast that was to come. Kicking into an extended Bird flight through “A Place in Space” (from his new album, State of Nature) that migrated through an array of tempos and styles, Jordan tapped and even occasionally strummed as his head bobbled sideways on his other slender, agile neck. As Moffett came in with his Floyd-ian bass cycles, Jordan stopped pacing the stage to turn to and even follow his fellow fleet-fingered fret friend in a rare but well-deserved role reversal. Taking (partially) to the piano for Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father,” Jordan took the audience to the next level of “wow” as he accompanied himself on the keys while his rhythm section helped him find the proper paternal groove. The trio’s enviro-conscious take on Jobim’s “Insensatez” was limpid and airy and contrasted greatly with the frenetic creation-fest “Return Expedition,” a clamorous closer that ran from Queen to Reggae and far elsewhere. Such contrasts were only heightened with Jordan’s solo explorations of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto #21” (which he performed as a one-man chamber orchestra) and a fuzzed-up tempo-ramental rumble through Miles Davis’ “All Blues” that was all that it could be…and more!

Despite everything that Jordan and co. gave to the audience, they were insatiable, literally yelling for more even as the crowd for the late set pushed against the doors.

And who could blame them? This was a show unlike many had ever seen before or would again.All in a night’s work for the amazing Stanley Jordan!

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