Stanley Jordan: A Place in Space
A Place in Space
Stanley Jordan (guitar)
State of Nature (Mack Avenue 1040)
David Haynes (drums).
Composed by Stanley Jordan.
Recorded: San Rafael, California, no date given (CD released in 2008)
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Stanley Jordan has always been difficult to classify. Depending on who you ask, he is a novelty act, a crossover threat, a guitar genius. . . . Take your pick! Probably the most common descriptor pegs him as the guy who plays guitar like it's a keyboard. Jordan's 2008 release State of Nature won't make it any easier to pigeonhole this artist. The opening track, "A Place in Space," starts with an easygoing trio groove and a melody reminiscent of "Milestones," then moves into a Zappa-esque interlude for contrast. The guitar solo is tasty, until the 4-minute mark -- when all hell breaks loose. The band shifts into double-time, and Jordan now dishes out everything from polytonal licks to jagged rock lines, stopping just short of free jazz pandemonium. If the label was hoping for airplay on the smooth jazz radio stations, Jordan just torpedoed those plans with this very anti-smooth attack. When he returns to the main melody, with its light swing, it's almost like he is commenting ironically on everything that came before. But the overall performance is nothing short of brilliant -- a wild ride from this mercurial player.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia