Saturday, August 12, 2006

Duke Jordan (1922-2006)

From today's New York Times:

Duke Jordan, a pianist whose work with the saxophonist Charlie Parker endures in the jazz canon, died on Tuesday in Valby, Denmark, a suburb of Copenhagen. He was 84, and he had lived in self-imposed exile from the United States since 1978, continuing to perform in the musical tradition he helped create. . . .

His work with Parker, recorded for the Dial and Savoy labels, soared with a lilting intensity. It was hard-driving and lyrical, heady and heartfelt, said Ira Gitler, a jazz critic who heard Mr. Jordan and Parker in 1947, at the Onyx Club and the Three Deuces, two long-vanished nightclubs on West 52nd Street in Manhattan.

A handful of recordings from 1947 and 1948 featuring Parker, along with Miles Davis on trumpet, Mr. Jordan on piano and Max Roach on drums, are considered masterpieces. They include "Embraceable You," "Crazeology," and "Scrapple From the Apple."

Mr. Jordan’s "beautifully apt introductions," in the words of Phil Schaap, curator of Jazz at Lincoln Center, lasted only seconds. But they set the stage for three-minute explosions of creativity.
If you've never heard the Parker quintet's "Embraceable You," pick up the Ken Burns Charlie Parker CD and listen — to the beautiful introduction and all that follows.

Link » Duke Jordan, 84, Jazz Pianist Who Helped to Build Bebop, Dies (New York Times)