Jordan Officer: Blue Skies

Jordan Officer Blue Skies.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Jordan Officer is acclaimed not only for his virtuosity, but also for his unequaled sensitivity and sober elegance. Composer and singer, as well as guitarist, Jordan has the gift of blending blues, jazz, country and rock’n’roll into a single and personal style. And when he works his magic, the Jordan Officer sound is unforgettable.

Up until 2010, Jordan Officer was principally known as the jazz guitarist, cofounder of the “Susie Arioli Band featuring Jordan Officer". Their band, “discovered” at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1998 grew to be known throughout Quebec, Canada and internationally for its unique covers of jazz standards: Susie’s velvety smooth voice and Jordan’s powerful, yet understated jazz guitar. Over the next 12 years, they sold over 250,000 albums. Their album, Christmas Dreaming as well as their DVD Live at the Montreal International Jazz Festival both received Gold status in sales. Besides playing guitar and composing instrumentals on each of their albums, Jordan produced 4 of them: Learn to smile again, Night Lights, Christmas Dreaming, and All the Way.

In 2010, Jordan released his first, self-titled solo album and was awarded the “Album of the year – Jazz Creation” award from l’ADISQ (the Quebec music industry association). In July 2013, Jordan and his family moved to New York City for six months. Here he wrote songs for his first full-length blues album, I’m Free. During this time, Jordan collaborated with some excellent New York musicians, recorded his album and performed regularly at Rockwood Music Hall and other venues. This album serves as an introduction to Jordan Officer the bluesman: his story and the music he loves, with a little dose of New York City energy. I’m Free was released in March of 2014. Since then, Jordan toured extensively in Quebec, Ontario and France. In fact, his I’m Free show has been nominated for an ADISQ award for Anglophone show of the year. One of the songs on this album, the haunting “Life just showed me” was also selected by Daniel Lanois as a winner in Uprise.fm’s Share Your Live contest.

Early in 2015 Jordan was in the USA again, this time in Los Angeles, to spend a month studying and playing music, and absorbing the surf and the laid-back west coast vibe. The upcoming album is definitely blues once again, but other influences such as jazz and country are also present. The album also contains blues/jazz renditions of some of Jordan’s all-time favourite American songs, which over the years have been part of the sound-track of his life.

Blue Skies’ is a great opening track, with soothing sad lyrics and melodic guitar lines, sounding more like a Mills Brothers track gone jazzy. ‘Got You On My Mind’ has a retro feel again, with the mixture of blues and unique guitar offerings that make this guy so amazing.

It’s You I Love’ is my favourite track on this CD, with a 70’s feel that reminds you of early John Martyn. ‘Shot of Rhythm and Blues’ speeds it up a bit and shows the versatility and talent of Jordan Officer. ‘Chains of Love’ is blues at its best; Officer’s voice is so clear and crisp it is almost hypnotic.

Night Flight’ has a bit of a shuffle/skiffle production to it while ‘How Long Blues’ brings you right back to the roots of this singer’s soul, with some low notes that actually sound like early Brook Benton.

That’s For Me’ is a love song, with all the lyrics that are a bit different than his usual blues tunes. ’Then She Kissed Me’ is a cover of the old rock ‘n’ roll hit by The Crystals,  and is refreshing and a brave choice that worked out beautifully.

When the Deal Goes Down’ sounds like a southern melody and really gives the guitar work a place to shine, and the last track ‘Takin’ Off’ is a chacha  kinda feel, rounding out all the tunes on Blue Skies to complete a truly great offering.

This is a must for any music lover’s collection. Visit www.jordanofficer.com for more!