October 11, 2002 |
Singer Sheila Jordan remembers the exact moment when she decided what her life's work would be. "I sang all the time when I was a little kid," she recalls. "But I didn't know what kind of music I wanted to sing until I heard Charlie Parker. It was on one of those old Savoy 78s, I think--Charlie Parker and His Re-Boppers. And as soon as I heard it I said, 'Oh, that's it. That's the music I want to devote the rest of my life to. Whether I sing it or just support it or whatever.'
January 12, 2001 |
Few jazz singers have devoted themselves to the pure craft of their art with the determination of Sheila Jordan--a devotion, in essence, to the songs themselves, to the never-ending exploration of musical content. A few others come to mind--Betty Carter, Jeanne Lee, Jay Clayton, Irene Kral, sometimes Abbey Lincoln. But Jordan, more than most, has never wavered in her dedication to the music, unswayed by the blandishments of the pop world.
October 10, 1992 |
The story of Sheila Jordan, who opened Thursday and closes Sunday at Catalina Bar & Grill, is the stuff of legend. Befriended by Bird, tutored by Tristano--she saw and heard it all back in New York's Birdland era. You hear it in her voice when she brings a hip sensitivity to everything from "Body and Soul" (singing the almost-forgotten verse) to the 1948 ballad "Haunted Heart."
June 9, 1989 |
Steve Kuhn, the New York pianist whose playing has encompassed a wide range of jazz styles, stuck close to be-bop at the Catalina Bar & Grill where he began a six-night stand Tuesday night. Working with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Al Foster, Kuhn's opening set at the Hollywood club included four standards from the jazz repertoire, each serving to show the pianist's fine technique and his extraordinary interpretive abilities. "There Is No Great Love" started the set at an easily paced sling tempo with Kuhn taking a simple, economical approach to the melody, and drummer Foster, playing deftly with wire brushes, caressing the rhythm.
February 25, 1989 |
Calling Sheila Jordan a singer is--to use a proverbial comparison--a bit like calling "Great Expectations" a book. In her opening-night performance at Catalina's Bar & Grill Thursday night, Jordan's program of jazz vocal improvisations pulsed and throbbed with the same kind of layered emotional density that can transform a "book" into a great novel.
February 23, 1989 |
Sheila Jordan has fought many demons in her life. The road that led to her current level of vocal success (she opens tonight for a three-day stint at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood) was long and tortuous. Born in Detroit to a 16-year-old mother, she was raised by grandparents in an impoverished coal-mining area of Pennsylvania. "I never dreamed of becoming a singer," she recalls.