Welcome to Smoothvibes’ latest feature, What’s In Your Library?, where we will periodically select certain gems from our own respective libraries—albums or CDs that could be a few to several years old but that, in our opinion, should be in all smooth jazzers’ libraries. We hope that the column will direct some well-deserved light on a few artists and/or albums that may have flown under one’s radar screen. Enjoy!
Ronny Jordan, At Last, (N-Coded Music)
Quietly powerful, gentlemanly, debonair, funky acid jazz? Almost sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Well, this is what comes to mind whenever I hear a Ronny Jordan album. This veteran British guitar virtuoso who is widely regarded as the originator of acid jazz always seems to bring it all and leave it there either in the studio or onstage---but has always done in such a mannerly fashion. Always the English gentleman. The monster layers of funk and the driving rhythms and bottom almost speak contradictorily to this quiet giant, but that’s the beauty of his music, character, and versatility.
As I’ve implied, Jordan is quite an unassuming, unimposing, yet clearly superior artist who exudes the type of taste and class of which only the best can boast. The licks, the melodies, and overall productions are always made of the stuff seldom approached by anyone who’s not at the top of his or her game in the world of jazz.
I could have chosen any number of this superb artist’s albums to review, but I chose At Last not just because it’s chock full of aural goodies from track one to track 10, but also because of the deep, solid, and permeating presence it exhibits. Here, as with many of his other projects, Jordan’s guitar speaks passionately in every tune, and there’s enough body and soul here to satisfy anyone seeking a good firm vibe. The man and his music clearly complement each other. Whether you classify him as acid or smooth or anywhere in between, he satisfies—immensely.
Sit back and take a mental stroll with Jordan on the very popular title track, “Night & Day,” “Heaven,” “Word of Mouth,” “Tease,” or any of the others offered here, and you’ll get my point. Don’t have this one yet? What are you waiting for? By the way, his latest will be heading our way sometime in the very near future, I’m told. If you have none of his material, why not let At Last be your introduction? You’ll then be somewhat prepared for what’s next... and I’m pretty certain that you’ll want whatever’s next!Posted by Ronald Jackson at May 1, 2009 7:35 PM