Chapter 4 -A Helluva Time 1950-1980

“When Jordan stepped off the train in New York, she was entering the nucleus of a creative and expansive artistic scene. Charlie Parker and the generation of bop musicians were infecting jazz with a new language that Jordan had already embraced.”

“(Lennie) Tristano empowered Jordan to keep her unique sound and pushed her beyond her limits, which only made her more proficient at her craft. “He gave me a lot of encouragement,” says Jordan. “He was really supportive of women musicians and I liked that because he took me seriously. I think the knew that women had a tougher time in the music world and he sincerely wanted to help them. I was one of the first singers he taught so that was new for him too. Bird gave me courage by telling me I was unique in my sound and that I had million-dollar ears, and Lennie went a step further. He used to say that my ears will tell me that it’s right and he insisted that I learn the tunes the way they were written before I did anything with them. He told me not to force anything, trust and let it happen.”

From Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan by Ellen Johnson

All Rights Reserved - Roman & Littlefield Publishers

For more information - https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810888364

Chapter 8 - I've Grown Accustomed to the Bass

"Jordan has always said that her real love affair was with the double bass (or often called, upright) bass. Her natural fascination with using space was a perfect match for the bass and voice duo format. Without the clutter of chords she was able to find the freedom and subtleties that her instrument required to be fully expressive. She adored the quality and sound of the bass and had a deep yearning to investigate the ways it could be used to interpret songs with a solo voice. Long before singers entertained the idea of crafting a musical relationship with this key instruments of the jazz rhythm section, Jordan was already setting the creative parameters on what was possible in such a unique duo format. Throughout her career she has been recognized as the primary innovator of the bass and voice duo.

From Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan by Ellen Johnson

All Rights Reserved - Roman & Littlefield Publishers

For more information - https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810888364

Chapter 9 - White In A Black World

"Yet a racist environment prevailed during Jordan's youth, and this set the stage for what would be a constant struggle for her, dealing with discrimination. Although she was white, Jordan's passion for African American music, specifically jazz and bebop, exposed her to the ugly realities of what her African American friends and partners had to endure. Having grown up in poverty where other children made fun of her, Jordan could easily relate to these prejudicial experiences. For many reasons, she identified deeply with black culture, and at one point in her life even expressed a desire to be black instead of white. " 

From Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan by Ellen Johnson

All Rights Reserved - Roman & Littlefield Publishers

For more information - https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810888364

Chapter 10 - The Crossing

"Jordan values the lessons and opportunities she has been given and knows that because addiction is an illness she must always stay away from alcohol and drugs. "That's what I teach young people if they wonder how I got sober and straightened out my life. I tell them there is help and you can find a solution to this disease. You have choices, and as long as you approach it one day at a time, you can find a way out." During Jordan's recovery period, she was inspired to write the song "The Crossing" as a way of encouraging others who are struggling with addiction."

From Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan by Ellen Johnson

All Rights Reserved - Roman & Littlefield Publishers

For more information - https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810888364