Stanley Jordan's discovery in the early '80s rightfully earned a lot of headlines in the jazz world as he came up with a new way of playing guitar.
Although he was not the first to use tapping, Jordan's extensive expertise gave him the ability to play two completely independent lines on the guitar (as if it were a keyboard) or, when he wanted, two guitars at a time. He had originally studied piano, although he switched to guitar when he was 11. After graduating from Princeton in 1981, Jordan played for a time on the streets of New York. Soon he was discovered, had the opportunity to play with Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie and, after recording a solo album for his own Tangent label, signed with Blue Note. Since then, his career has been surprisingly aimless. Stanley Jordan can play amazing jazz, but he often wastes his talent on lesser material, so one has to be picky in deciding which of his recordings to acquire. Among his many albums are 1985's Magic Touch, 1986's Standards, Vol. 1, 1990's Stolen Moments, 1994's Bolero, 2003's Dreams of Peace, and 2008's State of Nature. In 2011, Jordan was joined by an all-star lineup featuring saxophonist Kenny Garrett, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Kenwood Dennard for the album Friends. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi