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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jazz Child: The Story of Sheila Jordan

Sheila Jordan is one of the vocal icons of jazz. As music critic Robert Palmer raved in The New York Times, “Her ballad performances are simply beyond the emotional and expressive capabilities of most other vocalists.” 
As a jazz vocalist and colleague of Sheila, Ellen Johnson brings her own professional expertise through the organization of the book and her knowledge of the specific subject matter, which reaches out to both the music community and the general public. Bringing Sheila Jordan’s message to the world through this book has been her goal and passion, cumulating in research for the last six years. She emerged on the jazz scene during the beginning of the bebop era, created as a revolt against restrictions on creative freedom. Her mentor and best friend, one of the most prominent artists and the main musical founder of bebop, was alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. Through her devotion to Parker, Jordan etched out a niche in the jazz world, becoming the first jazz singer to record on Blue Note Records (Portrait of Sheila, 1962). She was Lennie Tristano’s most celebrated jazz student, the only singer George Russell ever arranged for, the innovator of bass and voice duets (her very first with bassist Charles Mingus), and one of the precursors to free jazz singing. Her story, told here for the first time, is rich with depth, humor, and honesty. 
Besides its historic content, this book is both a narrative and the memoir of a courageous woman who battled against racism during the 1950s, raised a biracial daughter alone, and made a successful recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. At eighty-two, Sheila has an indomitable spirit; her faith in the music she dedicated her life to continues to be heard as she travels around the world, “carrying the message” through graciously paying homage to the great jazz artists she personally knew, singing songs about Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lennie Tristano, Don Cherry, Thelonious Monk, and, of course, Charlie Parker.
Having made twenty-three solo recordings and thirty-five as a guest artist, Sheila Jordan can be heard daily on jazz stations throughout the world. She is known to be the most highly respected of jazz singers and educators, with a large following of professional singers, musicians, and students whom she has mentored over the years. She is always in demand internationally for conferences, jazz festivals, high-profile concerts, and jazz education workshops.
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Taken from Facebook this is one book I must read and I think anyone who heard Sheila at the Gateshead Jazz Festival a couple of years back will agree, Lance.

2 comments :

Roly said...

Yes - she's one of the absolute greats. That late night session at GJF was one of those you'll never forget.
Roly

Ellen Johnson said...

The book will be out sometime in 2014. For more info or to get on the mail list go to: https://www.facebook.com/JazzChildAportraitofsheilajordan

Ellen

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