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Ronny Jordan

Ronny Jordan (1962-2014) was a a guitarist at the forefront of the acid jazz movement at the end of the twentieth century. Additionally, Jordan can be included in several other jazz genres such as soul jazz, contemporary jazz, jazz funk, crossover jazz, and smooth jazz.

Born Ronald Laurence Albert Simpson on November 29, 1962 in London, England, Ronny taught himself to play the ukulele at the age of four and the guitar at eight, performing for his father's church congregations. By 13 he was leading his own band. He took a business degree and initially worked in a variety of non- ...read more

Ronny Jordan (1962-2014) was a a guitarist at the forefront of the acid jazz movement at the end of the twentieth century. Additionally, Jordan can be included in several other jazz genres such as soul jazz, contemporary jazz, jazz funk, crossover jazz, and smooth jazz.

Born Ronald Laurence Albert Simpson on November 29, 1962 in London, England, Ronny taught himself to play the ukulele at the age of four and the guitar at eight, performing for his father's church congregations. By 13 he was leading his own band. He took a business degree and initially worked in a variety of non-musical jobs, but kept on listening – to jazz musicians, to guitarists from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Chuck Berry and T Bone Walker, to soul and funk artists including Parliament/Funkadelic and Tower of Power, and to early hip-hop pioneers. That mix found its way into a self-made single, 'After Hours', which was rejected by record companies at first. But as the 1990s dawned, the climate for a new synthesis of jazz and pop was about to change.

By the beginning of the 1990s jazz-loving DJs such as Gilles Peterson and Paul Murphy had been introducing the most soulfully danceable tunes from jazz's hard-bop era to London clubbers, sowing the seeds of what would become 'acid-jazz'. Jordan's 1992 version of Miles Davis' 'So What' took off on the dancefloors, Island Records signed him for a debut album ('The Antidote'), and his role on the Gang Starr leader Guru's album 'Jazzmatazz Vol 1' quickly accelerated his fame. Jordan reached the UK top 30 in 1993 with the song 'No Time to Play', on which he hooked up with Guru and the vocalist Dee C Lee.

While his 1995 remix album 'Bad Brothers' was criticised by some as formulaically smooth jazz, his live performances had become internationally popular. Blue Note signed him in 1999 after his move to New York, and the resulting album 'A Brighter Day' (2000) was an altogether more substantial and focused mix of American, Latin and Asian music that reached the top 10 on Billboard's jazz chart and attracted a Grammy nomination. Jordan won a Mobo award for best jazz act the same year. In 2001 the Gibson company made him its guitarist of the year. Jordan kept touring – notably, for London fans, playing a Jazz Cafe gig in 2010 in which he was joined by George Benson himself.

Ronny Jordan died on 13 January 2014. « hide


Off The Record
2001

4.5
1 Votes
A Brighter Day
2000

3.5
2 Votes
The Antidote
1992

4
1 Votes

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