Wow! This was impressive. “Stanley Jordan Trio: The Paris Concert”
was filmed at the New Morning Club in Paris in 2007, and released
on DVD the following year. It is certainly a jazz tour-de-force.
Stanley Jordan, Charnett Moffett and David Haynes play a one-hour,
47-minute set, consisting of jazz standards, classical tunes, an
arrangement of “Yesterday,” as well as new-age type improvisations.
Jordan is particularly famous for his use of the two-handed tap
technique on guitar, and he was amazing to watch. Not only does
he sound like two guitarists much of the time, he also plays the piano
quite well. A first for me was watching him play the guitar AND the
piano simultaneously, using one hand for each instrument. By the
way, he is ambidextrous at this.
His partners, Charnett Moffett and David Haynes are also great
musicians with impressive jazz pedigrees. Among many other jazz
greats, Moffett has played bass with Ornette Coleman and Wynton
Marsalis, and Jordan has played with Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillespie.
While at Princeton University, he studied with composer Milton Babbitt.
As I mentioned earlier, this was a wide-ranging program, covering
many genres that were filtered through Jordan’s unique jazz
sensibility. Jazz standards included arrangements of “All Blues,”
“Now’s the Time,” and John Coltrane’s “Naima.” Jordan also performed
tasteful solo improvisations from Bela Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra”
and Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21.” Moffett was given a lengthy
chance to solo, with an improvisation which morphed into “Amazing
Grace.” His slender, upright bass was amped to enable the use of
This concert was a mix of solos and group selections, featuring fine
camera work and sound quality. The arrangements were tasteful and
devoid of virtuosity for its own sake.
As an added bonus, a 12-minute extra, entitled “In Conversation with
Stanley Jordan” was most informative. In it, he discussed his upbringing
and musical background, as well as his teachers and influences. Jordan
also explained why he tunes the top two strings of his guitar one-half
step higher than the norm.
Released on the Inakustic Gmbh label, this DVD is highly recommended,
especially for jazz buffs and those who appreciate excellent musicianship.