Friday, October 31, 2008

NPR Radio Features Sheila Jordan on Jazzset

NPR Radio Airs

Jazz Vocalist Sheila Jordan Honored In Concert

By Becca Pulliam

To Listen:

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, October 30, 2008- At the Kennedy Center in Washington,D.C., long-stemmed roses are wrapped in a big red ribbon on the stage, and words like "innovative and passionate" are used to honor vocalist Sheila Jordan with the 2008 Mary Lou Williams Award for a Lifetime of Service to Jazz.

Jordan accepts the honor by thanking Kennedy Center artistic advisor Dr. Billy Taylor — "always in my corner then and now" — as well as George Russell, who "put me on record for the first time," and "all the young singers throughout the years, the instrumentalists, my beautiful daughter, and most of all, I want to thank the Bird, Charlie Parker," a great friend and inspiration."

Then Jordan improvises, saying in song that she's nervous, and that every time she comes to Washington, D.C., she thinks of her dear friend: fellow singer and lifelong Washingtonian, the late Shirley Horn. Now that she's nearing her 80th birthday on Nov. 18, Jordan is making a new record with a string quartet. She says that it's been her desire ever since Charlie Parker with Strings came out. "He was like my big brother; nothing romantic," she adds, answering an
unspoken question. One thing Jordan does not do is listen over and over to her recordings: "Hear it once, let it go!" she says.

"Lucky to Be Me" (from On the
Town by Bernstein Comden &
"Dat Dere" (lyric by Oscar Brown
Jr., music by Bobby Timmons)
"Ballad for Miles/It Never Entered
My Mind" (Jordan/Rodgers & Hart)
"Sheila's Blues"

Steve Kuhn: piano
David Finck: bass
Billy Drummond: drums

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