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Stanley Jordan Trio at Boulton Center- Bay Shore, NY

Hey everyone! Ignatius Riley speaks! This the first of what I hope is many more from a true fan!- Amandee

Oh, hey, Ignatius Riley here.  Sorry, I’m late.  Anyway, when Island Girl invited me to see Stanley Jordan Trio (hereon referred to as SJT), I naturally accepted — not necessarily because of the gig itself but more so for the pleasure of her unparalleled company.  That said, at the first mention of SJT my memory glands (not to be confused with mammary glands) leaked little bitty drops of familiarity.  I’d heard the name Stanley Jordan, but couldn’t quite put a face or sound to the name.  I am sure I was entirely unaware of SJ’s having a T.  But alas, invitation accepted and plans made for a Friday evening spent listening to unfamiliar tunes in an unfamiliar venue located in an unfamiliar town.  A night of multiple firsts, exception aforementioned stellar company of Island Girl.

The day of the show I did some aural research and kinda sorta realized where I’d heard/seen the name Stanley Jordan.  As I told Island Girl en (wonderfully informative tour guided) route to the show, this is a guy who, though he may not have the largest fan base among music lovers, he does seem to have a significant fan base among musicians themselves.  Seemingly everyone has a track or has done a show “featuring” Stanley Jordan.  This gets me psyched — if the musicians dig him like this, I know we’re in for a treat.

So we get to the unfamiliar town wherein lies the unfamiliar venue upon which stage the slightly-more-but-still-basically unfamiliar SJT’s tunes will soon serenade.  We walk a block or two looking for something to munch and take the safe and delicious bet with some pizza next door.  Island Girl runs into an old friend and they burst into hysterical reunion.  I mean BURST.  This old friend seems as thrilled with life as Island Girl and seeing their interaction together makes me smile, laugh, and grateful to know people like this.

Za down, we head into the Boulton Center.  Island Girl picks up the tix with a name drop because she freakin’ knows people, man.  Like, literally, she seems to know everyone working this joint.  Our seats are something like fourth or fifth row from the stage — we’re gonna be sharing the same breath space with Stanley Jordan and the other two-thirds of his trio.  Some conversation and a bag of Twizzlers later, SJT takes the stage.  Honestly, the first thing I notice is the bassist for SJT is about like maybe 5 foot 3 inches and his bass guitar is probably taller than him and weighs more.  But the dude can play.  So can the drummer, who uses a range of faces and hi hat tss-t-t-tss to emanate what I think jazz folks mean when they talk about “cool.”  And then there is Mr. Jordan himself.

Stanley Jordan

Oh, Stanley.  Let me say this, the dude is amazing.  And when I say amazing in reference to Mr. Jordan, it’s kinda loaded.  His sound output and the method he creates it with — double melodies on the guitar and at times playing guitar and piano simultaneously (wtf?!).  His setlist — a mix I never knew I needed of classical, jazz, classic rock, southern rock, and funk.  We got covers of Voodoo Chile, Stairway, City of New Orleans, and Debussy’s Reverie!  This dude sent us on a musical voyage across time and genre, all in one of the most unique styles I’ve witnessed.  But there is something about Stanley J that made me…I don’t know…confused?  Unsure?  I really don’t know.  He dropped some goofy, quirky jokes and it was hard to tell if he knew they were silly and that was the joke or if he was scared of the crowd response.  His banter was funny and warm content-wise, but a lot of that too seemed carried in a trembling, uncertain voice.  After the show, he had a meet and greet and behind the table, too, he seemed just…like uneasy?  I just can’t put a finger on it.  I want to say it was beautiful because, despite the uncertainty of his demeanor, it very much felt real and authentic.  He was in no sense putting on…except in the sense that he and his Trio put on a bitchin’ show.

So thanks, Island Girl, Island Girl’s old friend we met at the pizza place, Island Girl’s reputable connex (old people, this is young person speak for CONNECTIONS), and of course Stanley Jordan and your Trio for a hip, groovin’ night of exposure to unfamiliar sounds in unfamiliar territories.  Both the town, the venue, and the artistry will be attended and viewed/heard again given the opportunity.  And of course, the company I kept will continue to be so.

Much Love.  Ignatius Riley, over but not out.

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