Yesterday, I posted on pianist Duke Jordan’s first trio leadership session, in 1954. Today, I want to share his masterpiece, Flight to Jordan, his first and only Blue Note album and one of his best. The album is solid for several reasons: the group is tight and in the groove; all of the tracks, except I Should Care, were by Jordan; and the instrumental personality of each individual member worked perfectly together. [Photo above of Duke Jordan by Francis Wolff (c) Mosaic Images]
Recorded in August 1960 at Rudy Van Gelder’s new studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., the quintet featured Dizzy Reece (tp), Stanley Turrentine (ts), Duke Jordan (p), Reggie Workman (b) and Art Taylor (d). This was a classic Blue Note hard-bop session. The Jamaican-born Reece plays beautifully here, with a sly warmth and crying tone while Turrentine steers around the melody with his dry, bluesy horn. I love Workman’s pronounced, moody bass and Taylor’s hissing and understated drums. Interestingly, Jordan performs in most places as a sideman on his own session, but his solos on Split Quick and other songs are exceptional.
Rather surprising that this group wasn’t asked to record a few more albums for producer Alfred Lion. Jordan certainly had plenty of original songs to offer up. Perhaps with Horace Silver, Hank Mobley and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Blue Note’s quintet quota was overflowing and another didn’t make much sense. Or more than likely each member had other obligations. [Photo above of Stanley Turrentine by Francis Wolff (c) Mosaic Images]
Whatever the reason, the sound of these artists individually and together were smartly selected for the quintet. Jordan drives the pace, but it’s the collective energy of this quintet that stands out playing Jordan’s material. [Photo above of Dizzy Reece by Francis Wolff (c) Mosaic Images]
JazzWax tracks: You’ll find Duke Jordan’s Flight to Jordan here.
Or at Spotify.
JazzWax clips: The full album is here in tracks…
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Author: Marc Myers