John’s Blues Picks Dec 2015 – Jordan Officer
Jordan Officer Blue Skies (Select) | jordanofficer.com
Montreal’s Jordan Officer found the inspiration for I’m Free, his last album in New York. This time he moved his young family to Los Angeles for a month. The album grew into a journey through the music styles that got him to this point.
The first song he sang & played publicly in high school was Tom Waits’ “Blue Skies”, it gets a bluesy treatment here. There are no Lonnie Johnson songs here and he’s probably very tired of references to his sound being so influenced but the similarity is unmistakable. In his press release, Officer proudly announces his inclusion in Hal Leonard’s sheet music books among the greats quoted in Scott Yanow’s “The Great Jazz Guitarists, The Ultimate Guide”, so enough of Mr. Johnson then, Officer’s guitar work on this disc is superb throughout. The Big Three Trio’s “Got You On My Mind” provides an especially good example of his guitar work. The tempo picks up for Arthur Alexander’s “Shot of Rhythm And Blues” which features back up vocals from former partner Susie Arioli and another amazing solo that is faded all too early. His laid back vocal style is made to measure for Leroy Carr’s “How Long Blues”. Bob Dylan’s “When The Deal Goes Down” (from Modern Times) also gets a nicely bluesy turn. “Takin’ Off” features one more guest, Augie Meyers, who contributes some of his trademark Tex-Mex organ to an attractive instrumental to close.
A lovely late night album from Mr. Officer and if you are so inclined a guitar player’s textbook. He’s placed himself in a long line of jazz guitar trios with blues and some pop tunes differentiating him nicely. His web site, www.jordanofficer.com, shows only Quebec dates so far but he’s no stranger to these parts. It lets you check out the songs too.