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* aural cavity located on the sides of the head for insertion of local music scene
The COMPASS Group, October 2005


Sheila Jordan wraps up Taichung
Jazz Fest with class

By Douglas Habecker Translated by Liu Fang through

It seems very appropriate that this year's multifaceted Taichung Jazz Festival will close out with an artist whose experience with the genre covers a large part of the 20th century. On the evening of Nov. 6, Sheila Jordan, known as one of the most creative jazz singers in the world, will treat listeners to her amazing repertoir of music, which ranges from scat and bebop to her emotional renderings of ballads.

Jordan often remarks that jazz saved her life. Born in Detroit in 1928, she spent most of her childhood in a poverty-stricken, coal-mining Pennsylvania town. At the age of 12, she discovered jazz by chance while visiting her mother in Detroit and soon became obsessed with the music of Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, her great early influence. Moving to New York in the '50s, she continued her pursuit of "Bird" and his music. The two eventually became friends, even as she later married his piano player, Duke Jordan, studied with Lennie Tristano and worked New York clubs. In 1962, she became one of the few singers to lead her own Blue Note album, and also recorded on "The Outer View with George Russell", which includes a famous 10-minute version of "You Are My Sunshine".

In the following decades, she has continued her passion for teaching, as well as performing and recording with a wide range of artists. This includes an album with pianist Steve Kuhn and "Home", made up of a selection of Robert Creeley's poems set to music. A 1983 release with bassist Harvie Swartz, "Old Time Feeling", includes many of her live repertoir standards, while her 1989 "Lost and Found" release plays tribute to her bebop roots. Other releases since then have included "One for Junior" with Mark Murphy, "Heart Strings" (1993), and "Jazz Child" (1998).

Her exceptional musical gifts, which includes the rare talent of improvising logical lyrics which often rhyme, are showcased in her unique style, which includes frequent, unexpected sweeping changes of pitch which can surprise new audiences. For Taiwan music afiocionados of all types, Sheila Jordan is an opportunity that can't be missed.
The three-week Taichung Jazz Festival will take place over three weekends with dozens of international and jazz artists. The festival kicks off on October 22-23. Jordan's Sunday, Nov. 6 performance at 8:30 p.m. will take place with the Serge Forte Trio on the main stage at Peoples' Square. For more information, check www.taiwanfun.com or the official festival website at http://www.jazzfestival.com.tw

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