The Ronny Jordan guitar style is what the tenor sax has always been to jazz-in a word-sexy. He strokes his Gibson as he would a cherished loved one. Ronny is courtly and traditional, sprinkling musical trinkets like gifts on that special birthday. Then the landscape suddenly changes and all those caught up in the sparkly moment are ushered into the rarefied sanctum of improvisational potency for added treats and surprises. Jordan is inventive and his willingness to be innovative has blossomed into a harmonious relationship.
This multi faceted jazz guitarist has just put the finishing touches on his self produced seventh CD After 8 (N-Coded Music). The ten tracks on this CD are a dish of cool jazz with tablespoons of RnB and pinches of hip-hop, reggae and the bahia. Ronny Jordan lays on warm guitar sounds like some of us slather on suntan oil during a winter vacation in the Islands.
"For me personally, the inspiration behind the title After 8 is of that classic scene - a real nice intimate, romantic candlelit dinner for two with low room lighting and some real nice soft music in the background. Whatever happens afterwards, whether it's indoors or outdoors - is all good. As the old saying goes: you work, rest and play. Well, after 8...is when you either rest or play," Ronny states.
After 8 is a predominantly instrumental project. The title cut, After 8 was co-written with Rob Benson - the son of legendary guitarist, George Benson. Another tune that makes you want to Latin is Bahia Magic, penned by keyboardist Dario Boente, Under Jordan-s stewardship, 7th Heaven, Goin Uptown, Say No More, Search To Find and Steppin Out (inspired by the late legendary sax great Grover Washington Jr ) came out of his skills as a musician who does not fret, but knows how to use the fret.
Jordan does justice to a jazz classic by the great Johnny Mercer - I Remember You which is dedicated in the memory of his late parents. Urban RnB fans will recognize the tune sung by RnB superstar Usher on his multi million selling album : Confessions - Caught Up. However, for reggae aficionados and fans of the late Peter Tosh, there is the noted tune - Lighthouse.
After 8 is a compendium of his influences. Jordan has always given props to trailblazers like Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jimi Hendrix and others. His inspiration is drawn from many parts of his musical psyche-from gospel, funk, hip-hop, RnB, soul and, of course, jazz.
Throughout After 8, you will hear snippets of all of my major guitar influences in my playing, from Wes Montgomery to George Benson to Kenny Burrell and Grant Green, Jordan says. There is even a little Jimi Hendrix thrown in too. But there is also some of me in there as well. As soon as you hear the melodic playing, you can tell it is me right away.
Ronny has been busy. He has formed a new record label: N-2 Groove Music and plans on breaking several new artists. My goal is to run a label that can truly relate to a recording artist. After all, it does take one to understand one. he states. I will be handling the AnR - Artist and Repertoire - chores, production and what have you. It will be great for the artists on the roster to have someone who they can relate to and can count on to help them thru the grind and pressure of being a recording artist, and who will also help them improve artistically in the studio and on stage. I plan to change the game on how an AnR person is viewed and also how a record label can relate more to their artists.
After 8 is his second album for N-Coded Music. His first was At Last (03)with such tunes of note like Heaven, Ron-dezvous, St. Tropez and Word of Mouth. The acid jazz movement brought this artist to the attention of many noted musicians and fans in 1992 with his debut CD The Antidote followed by The Quiet Revolution(93), Light To Dark(96), A Brighter Day(00) and Off The Record(01).
His creative genius won Jordan critical acclaim and led to his winning the Gibson Guitar Best Jazz Guitarist Award, The MOBO Best Jazz Act Award and the coup de grace - a Grammy nomination. There has also been many other awards too numerous mention.
A Brief History
Ronny Jordan was born Ronald Laurence Albert Simpson on November 29, 1962 in London, UK. The second eldest of seven children. His late father, a church deacon, raised Ronny and his siblings after his wife, also a church minister - passed away. Ronny states, "The sounds that I was exposed to growing up (in the 60s) were the Beatles, British Pop, Hendrix, Clapton, Motown, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Memphis, Cat Stevens, Gospel Music and many others too numerous to name. Reggae was outlawed in my household as my late parents were strict disciplinarians, but I appreciated Bob Marley and numerous others and I still do to this day."
But, who would have thought that a self-taught four-year-old with a four-string ukulele would dedicate the rest of his life to being a musician, a producer and songwriter. Ronny Jordan is the Everyman of Contemporary Jazz Music - one who is not afraid to experiment and take the genre and turn it upside down.
--- from the official Ronny Jordan website