Stanley Jordan, September 9, 2006
July 31, 1959 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion|
|Labels||Blue Note, Capitol, EMI, Arista, Mack Avenue|
Stanley Jordan (born July 31, 1959) is an American jazz guitarist whose technique involves tapping his fingers on the fretboard of the guitar with both hands.
Jordan was born in Chicago, Illinois. When he was six, he started on piano, then at eleven switched to guitar. He later began playing in rock and soul bands. In 1976, he won an award at the Reno Jazz Festival. At Princeton University, he studied music theory and composition with Milton Babbitt and computer music with Paul Lansky. While at Princeton he played with Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1985, Bruce Lundvall became president of Blue Note Records and Stanley Jordan was the first person he signed. Blue Note released his album Magic Touch, which sat at No.1 on Billboard 's jazz chart for 51 weeks, setting a record.
The touch technique
Normally, a guitarist uses two hands to play each note. One hand presses down a guitar string behind a chosen fret to prepare the note, and the other hand either plucks or strums the string to play that note. Jordan's touch technique is an advanced form of two-handed tapping. The guitarist produces a note using only one finger by quickly tapping (or hammering) his finger down behind the appropriate fret. The impact causes the string to vibrate enough to sound the note, and the volume can be controlled by varying the force of impact. Jordan taps with both hands, and more legato than is normally associated with guitar tapping. His technique allows the guitarist to play melody and chords simultaneously. It is also possible, as he has demonstrated, to play simultaneously on two different guitars, as well as guitar and piano.
He plays guitar in all-fourths tuning, from bass to treble EADGCF (all in perfect fourths as on the bass guitar) rather than the standard EADGBE. He has stated that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical".
Jordan's main guitar was built by Vigier Guitars in 1988: it is an Arpege model on which Vigier made a flat fingerboard, allowing it to have a very low action (0.5/0.7mm). The low action facilitates the tapping technique.
In 2004, he released the album Dreams of Peace with the Italian band Novecento. The album was produced by Lino Nicolosi and Pino Nicolosi at Nicolosi Productions and was released in the U.S. on Favored Nations. He signed with Mack Avenue Records and released State of Nature in 2008 and Friends in 2011. The latter was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. He has four Grammy nominations.
Film and television
Jordan made a cameo appearance in the movie Blind Date (1987). In 1995 he wrote the score for the short film One Red Rose. In 1996 he wrote the score for the ABC TV afternoon special, Daddy's Girl.
Since the mid 1980s he has performed on numerous television shows, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The David Letterman Show and the Grammy Awards.
- 1982 Touch Sensitive (Tangent)
- 1984 Stanley Jordan (Blue Note)
- 1985 Magic Touch (Blue Note)
- 1986 Standards, Vol. 1 (Blue Note)
- 1987 El Hurracane (Rounder)
- 1988 Flying Home (EMI)
- 1990 Cornucopia (Blue Note)
- 1990 Street Talk (EMI)
- 1991 Stolen Moments (Blue Note/Somethin' Else)
- 1994 Bolero (Arista)
- 1998 Live in New York (Blue Note)
- 2008 State of Nature (Mack Avenue)
- 2011 Friends (Mack Avenue)
- 2015 Duets (Mack Avenue)
- Various Artists, One Night With Blue Note (1985)
- Various Artists, Total Happiness (Music from the Bill Cosby Show, Vol. 2) (1986)
- Stanley Clarke, Hideaway (1986)
- Artists Against Apartheid, Sun City (1986)
- Kenny Rogers, Heart of the Matter (1986) Song: "Morning Desire"
- Various Artists, Blind Date soundtrack (1987)
- Charnett Moffett, The Beauty Within (1987)
- Charnett Moffett, Net Man (1987)
- Rebbie Jackson, R U Tuff Enuff (1988)
- Dionne Warwick, Sings Cole Porter (1990)
- Cody Moffett, My Favorite Things (2002)
- Ray Benson, Beyond Time (2003)
- Novecento, Dreams of Peace (2004)
- Will Calhoun, Native Lands (2005)
- Julia Jordan, Urban Legacy (2007)
- Charnett Moffett, Treasure (2010)
- Sharon Isbin, Guitar Passions (2011)
- The Blue Note Concert (1991)
- He Changed the Music: Live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, Les Paul & Friends (1991)
- The Paris Concert (2007)
List of television appearances
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
- Late Night with David Letterman
- The Grammy Awards
- VH1 Video Music Awards
- The David Brenner Show
- The Dick Cavett Show
- The Merv Griffin Show
- The Arsenio Hall Show
- Regis and Kathy Lee
- Austin City Limits (1989)
- NOVA program on computers and music (1986)
- Stanley Jordan Live in Montreal, Bravo Network (1991)
Papers and presentations
- "APL for Music," APL Quote Quad, 1989
- "Musical Syntactic and Semantic Structures in APL," APL Quote Quad, 1990
- "Foundations of Suitability of APL2 for Music," IBM Systems Journal, 1991
- "Toward a Lexicon of Musical APL2 Phrases," APL Quote Quad, 1991
- "Introduction to the Chromatic System for Guitar," Downbeat, July 2009
- "Listening to the Market—an Introduction to Technical and Fundamental Analysis by Sonification," keynote presentation, the Chicago Quantitative Alliance, 2009
- "An Introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Music Therapists," self-published, 2000–2002
- Yanow, Scott. "Stanley Jordan: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- W. Craig: "Stanley Jordan: Two-handed Jazz Technique," GP, xvii/9 (1983)
- C. Deffaa: "Stanley Jordan," Coda, no.208 (1986)
- Ferguson (1986, p. 76): Ferguson, Jim (1986). "Stanley Jordan". In Casabona, Helen; Belew, Adrian. New directions in modern guitar. Guitar Player basic library. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. pp. 68–76?. ISBN 9780881884234.
- "Biography". The Official Stanley Jordan Site. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
- "Stanley Jordan | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
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