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Jazz For The Spirit

What a mix of spirit, a joy of life, the gift of humour and a soul that swings. That is Sheila Jordan and she performed an afternoon show that was a delight, with her a wonderful accompanist, Steve Kuhn who also took to the daylight for one incredible set of touching piano reminisces, that was emotionally charged.

The songs that Sheila Jordan sang were put out in wonderful fashion with a bebop style, songs with beautiful melodies, "Gentle Thoughts", "Lucky To Be Me" and songs with melancholy overtones "Bird Alone" by the great Abbey Lincoln. Ms. Jordan sings these songs as a smoldering fire, a voice that reminds me of a smoke filled room with tones crackling and billowing, always peaceful, yet emotionally powerful, a serenade that soothes the soul.

Performing a song by the great Don Cherry, the one with taste and discretion, "Art Deco" and explaining to the audience about her first confused experience in Toronto, at The Senator, the audience snickered and laughed when Don Cherry’s name was announced and she had no idea why, until later in her hotel room, when Hockey Night in Canada came on and there was Don Cherry.

The song "Fairweather" a Kenny Dorham composition, a political tune that Ms. Jordan dedicated to Senator Obama. She sang one of the lines with such passion and take your breath away phrasing, "When we walk side by side like brothers." She sang her rendition of Oscar Brown Jrs., "That There" the mom’s version and dedicated the song to her daughter.

The performance was very laid back, Ms. Jordan created a warm and friendly atmosphere, her banter with the audience was personal and sincere, and her interest in the show, the event, the celebration was from the heart. During her break she took a seat in the audience to listen to Mr. Kuhn perform his solo piano segment.

The first thing Steve Kuhn said upon starting his performance was, "How do you follow something like that." Mr. Kuhn followed with standards, non-standards and originals, some recognizable and some not, it didn’t matter, it was all very enjoyable and it was very touching due to the passionate playing of Mr. Kuhn.

"The Americanization of Emily", "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes", "Two By Two" "How Insensitive", "Poems For No. 15", "Smile" and finishing his set with "Airegin".

Sheila Jordan was on next and came right back with the same statement, "How do you follow something like that." She managed by performing some great tunes with the help of Mr. Kuhn. "Pent Up House", "Lady Be Good", "Birds Are Wondering Why", "Send Twenty Dollars To Me" "Eclipse" and closing with a biographical blues, "My Life Has Been So Wonderful". What a performer, a wonderful entertainer, a classical jazz vocalist of the highest order.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Sheila Jordan and Steve Kuhn
  • Concert Date: 6/7/2008
  • Subtitle: Art of Jazz Celebration - Duo Series
  • Venue: Dancemakers Studio
  • City State Country: Toronto, On. Canada
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