The New Orleans-born Trumpeter Marlon Jordan was one of the "Young Jazz Lions" who were signed, recorded and promoted on major record labels in the 1980s. He recorded three impressive LPs for Columbia from 1998 to 1992, For You Only; named "one of the best debut albums of the year" by the Washington Post. , Learson's Return, and The Undaunted, and one for the Arabesque label entitled Marlon's Mode in 1997.
Marlon is the youngest of seven children of musician-educator Edward “Kidd” and Edvidge Jordan, a classical pianist. "I started out playing saxophone, violin and drums," says Marlon, "but the trumpet was the instrument that stuck with me." Marlon recalls his father literally taking him on the bandstand "even before I really knew how to play. He'd introduce me to all the musicians, and they'd call me up on the stand. They'd say, 'Come on. That's Kidd's son. Let him play."
As he continued his musical studies he had the day to day inspiration of Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and many others to draw on. The young musicians often hung out at the Jordan household where they would practice music with Kent Jordan and take lessons from Kidd. Marlon graduated from the famed NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts).
An accomplished classical musician as well, Marlon has performed solo with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra but his true joy is his constant performance in the streets and nightclubs of New Orleans and Brazil.
Following the release of his debut album's release, Marlon took his quintet on the road. They joined Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis and George Benson as a headlining act in a series of JVC Festival dates (produced by George Wein) in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities. They also played in some of the country's top jazz clubs, including the Blue Note and the Ritz, highlighted by a run at the Village Vanguard as well as in concerts ranging from New York's Avery Fisher Hall to Binghamton University.
His latest album, Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan, You Don’t Know What Love Is announces the return of an exceptional trumpeter. It also heralds the recording debut of a new singer, his sister Stephanie and showcases an incredibly talented musical family. This dancing and delicious document reveals a mature artist who sounds like himself. You can hear Jordan's clean, boppish lines laced with power, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire jazz trumpet tradition, signed in own unique sonic signature. The setting for this session finds its precedent in the immortal jazz albums, Clifford Brown with Strings, and Bird with Strings. But what makes this CD different is that it features the Jordan family. Stephanie's tone and diction combine Nancy Wilson's razor-sharp diction and phrasing with Shirley Horn's economy. Saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan, a pioneer artist and educator, was instrumental in forming The World Saxophone Quartet is the patriarch. Marlon's older brother, Flutist Kent, also recorded a number of well-crafted recordings on Columbia from 1984 to 1988. The Peabody-trained violinist Rachel is a former member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and a music teacher at Dillard University and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and now teaches at Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi.
With a Crescent City rhythm section consisting of drummer Troy Davis, bassist David Pulphus, and pianist Darrell Lavigne, who also wrote the string arrangements, Stephanie and Marlon deliver a number of standards in the classic moods and grooves full of the Negroidal rhythmic gravity we call swing. "My Favorite Things," get things rolling, with Marlon's full-bodied clarion calls beautifully counter pointed by his father's torrid, "sheets of sound" solo. "I wanted to come up with a tune that my father can be included on, and be himself, Marlon said.”Coltrane made "My Favorite Things" famous, and my dad is dealing with [Coltrane's] Live in Seattle and beyond."
Uncle Alvin Batiste's pithy clarinet highlights the waltzy modal "All Blues," from the Miles Davis masterpiece Kind of Blue. "I opened for Miles," Marlon proudly proclaimed, "and I wanted people to know that I can play in that vein." Marlon's Latin lilt on "Flamingo" follows Wynton's recording of it on his Standard Time Vol. 4 and features cousin Jonathan Bloom on percussion. Another uncle, trombonist Maynard Chatters, and his son, trumpeter Mark, round out this exceptional ensemble. This recording can be summed up with a riff on an old saying: The family that swings together, stays together . . .
He and his siblings’ rendition of Here’s to Life from their live televised performance during the Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Benefit Concert appear on the CD released by Blue Note Records. Marlon and Stephanie embarked on a European Tour as part of the Higher Ground Relief effort sponsored by the US States Department to say thanks to the countries of Bucharest, Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine for their help following hurricane Katrina.
Marlon looks to his music for a sense of normalcy after nearly losing his life to Katrina. Trapped on his roof for five days, a long-line helicopter rescue mission pulled Marlon and his girlfriend to safety. But not before he himself rescued two neighbors who were trapped in a burning house, fracturing both his ankles in the process.
Marlon Jordan has been called “The best trumpeter of his generation.” You can hear Jordan’s clean, boppish lines laced with power, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire jazz trumpet tradition, signed in his own unique sonic signature.
Bookings: Rachel Jordan (504) 915-9374
Media/Management: Vincent Sylvain (504) 232-3499
1. Marlon Jordan - trumpet
2. Jonathan Lefcoski / Anthony Wonsey / Darrell Lavigne - piano
3. Jason Stewart / David Pulphus / Neal Caine - bass
4. Troy Davis / Adonis Rose - drums
5. Stephanie Jordan - vocals (Premium Option)
1. You Don't Know What Love Is - Louisiana Red Hot Records
2. For Only You - Columbia
3. Learson's Return - Columbia
4. The Undaunted - Columbia
5. Marlon's Mode - Arabesque
DEJF: Marlon Jordan @ Twins
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The son of New Orleans jazz polymath Kidd, trumpeter Marlon Jordan works largely in mainstream post-...The son of New Orleans jazz polymath Kidd, trumpeter Marlon Jordan works largely in mainstream post-bop — a glut of which has been heard by this second weekend of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. But Jordan rescued it from ennui at Twins Jazz Friday night with some of the most distinctive stylings the fest has had so far.
Armed with pianist Allyn Johnson, drummer Aaron Walker, and a bassist whose name even Jordan couldn’t tell me (it was their first time playing together, he apologized), the trumpeter began inauspiciously enough with a program of jazz standards. But by the beginning of his second tune, Ellington and Juan Tizol’s “Caravan,” Jordan had well established his arsenal of high-pitched, triple-tongued squeals that weren’t just for accent or surprise: he’d make long phrases and even full choruses out of them. But he’d also balance them out with aggressive low-reaching growls that called to mind Bubber Miley in the early Ellington orchestra.
These sounds continued through a full set of classics from “What Is This Thing Called Love” to Coltrane’s “Impressions” to a slam-dunk reading of “Cherokee,” with Jordan also running sonically everywhere in between. Literally everywhere: his horn style was manic, busy, and intense; Jordan himself often looked like he was fighting the trumpet off him, jerking it in wide arcs in front of him and raising it to the ceiling for his high squeals.
The quartet was an incredible asset, too. Johnson, brilliant and flashy as always, worked glorious block chords and runaway right-hand melodies, also pulling a neat new trick in having the left hand doubling the right about three octaves down on “What Is This Thing Called Love.” Walker was a spectacular time keeper with great force on the rides and singular grasp of percussive color: he even played hand-drum on the snare during “Caravan.” It’s hard to know what to make of the bassist, though; his buzzy, clipped sound wasn’t quite the finesse that one expects in jazz, but he more than made up for it with his ear for chords and his melodic sense on solos.
The indisputable highlight was a slow, subtle take on Wayne Shorter’s classic “Footprints,” about two-thirds of the way through the set; for once Jordan kept great space in his solo phrases, and concentrated on thoughtful lyricism only occasionally punctuated by bursts of adrenaline. Johnson and Walker did their best work here, too, Johnson with a rolling, pacific piano line that Walker supported with atmospheric cymbal work, and the bassist supplied an impressive solo that was slow and plodding, but also surefooted and clever.
by Michael J. West - The indisputable lowlight, however, was the four people at the front table who were telling loud stories with squawking laughter all through the set; not only would they not shut up no matter how many of us politely asked them to, but they would simply raise their voices when the volume of the music increased. Twins remains one of the best jazz clubs in DC, but their audiences aren’t winning any awards.
Marlon Jordan: Summer Vibes In Colorado
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Jazzset with Dee Dee Bridgewater: April 23, 2009 - Marlon Jordan was born into a New Orleans family ...Jazzset with Dee Dee Bridgewater: April 23, 2009 - Marlon Jordan was born into a New Orleans family in 1970. His father, Kidd Jordan, plays avant-garde saxophone, while his mother is a classical pianist. Marlon, who studied at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, uses alumnus and friend Wynton Marsalis' middle name in the title of the composition "Learson's Return." It's a highlight of this set, showcasing Marlon Jordan's trumpet technique.
When Jordan was only 17, Columbia Records signed him as one of the Young Lions of the day. He recorded three albums for the label and opened for Miles Davis on a festival tour. When the label pulled back, Jordan moved on and connected his New Orleans music with the sounds of Brazil. On Aug. 29, 2005, he was at home when Hurricane Katrina struck. Five days on his roof almost cost Jordan his life, as he told NPR's Talk of the Nation (excerpted in this edition of JazzSet).
"I had enough water and food for three days," Jordan says. "Luckily, my aunt lived across the street from my house, so I had to swim across the street amongst alligators and water moccasins, and break into her house and get canned goods and what I could out of her house, and then swim back. It was quite an ordeal."
Since the hurricane, Jordan has worked with his family and released the album You Don't Know What Love Is, featuring his sister, vocalist Stephanie Jordan.
His group on JazzSet consists of pianist Jonathan Lefcoski, bassist Neal Caine and drummer Adonis Rose, whose parade beat gets everybody on their feet to close the show in Two Rivers Park.
Credit: Thanks to Bob and Mary Noone of Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz, for almost 25 years. Recording engineer Justin Peacock of the Hook Factory in Boulder, and assistant Dave Hedin, with a remix by Duke Markos in Surround Sound.
You Don't Know What Love Is
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Review: After Marlon Jordan made a splash in the jazz recording industry when he was only 17—the age...Review: After Marlon Jordan made a splash in the jazz recording industry when he was only 17—the age at which he signed a contract with Columbia Record, thereafter recordings a series of three albums over the four years between 1988 and 1992. Plus, he gained much acclaim as a member of Jazz Futures sponsored by George Wein, a group in which Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Antonio Hart, Benny Green and Mark Whitfield played as well. But after a subsequent recording on Arabesque, Marlon’s Mode, Jordan appeared to disappear, and his appearances mostly were limited to his home town of New Orleans.
Now, not only Marlon Jordan, but also The Jordans, have come out full force to make up for lost time on how most recent album, You Don’t Know What Love Is. Jordan’s, or the Jordans’, CD leverages the opportunity to record on Louisiana Red Hot Records by including not only the immediate Jordan family on it, but also the extended family as well. For, like the Marsalises, the Paytons or the Nevilles, the Jordans are one of New Orleans’ musical dynasties in which numerous family members excel in creating their own distinctive styles of music, despite the common family heritages. First, there’s the matriarch, Edvidge (Chatters) Jordan.
Edvidge Jordan (piano) > Edward “Kidd” Jordan (avant-garde saxophone) > Kent Jordan (flute) + Marlon Jordan (trumpet) + Stephanie Jordan (vocals) + Rachel Jordan (classical violin)
Plus, Edvidge is the sister of trombonist Maynard Chatters, who is the father of trumpeter Mark Chatters, and she is the sister-in-law of clarinetist Alvin Batiste, who married Edith Chatters. And Edvidge is the aunt of percussionist Jonathan Bloom.
The point of that discussion of genealogy is that all of the musicians named in the previous two paragraphs appear on You Don’t Know What Love Is, though the continuity of the recording is Marlon’s forceful presence on trumpet.
Despite the family connections, getting together all of the related musicians of You Don’t Know What Love Is wasn’t as easy a task as would be expected. First of all, Kidd Jordan was reluctant to participate in the recording, perhaps perceiving that his free jazz style isn’t the same as that of other family members. But Marlon perceptively starts the CD with “My Favorite Things,” nudging his father toward an aggressive solo throughout much of the track by starting it on open trumpet with intimations of metrical freedom. Similarly, Marlon’s sister Stephanie Jordan had aspired to be a singer, but never performed publicly until 1991, when sister Rachel dared her to go on stage in Washington D.C. to sing "I'll Remember April" with Kent. Stephanie’s secret singing ability suddenly was apparent, and she has sung ever since. Now, Marlon has included Stephanie as a co-feature on You Don’t Know What Love Is.
Alternating between trumpet leads on, for example, “All Blues” (which includes Baptiste on clarinet) and Stephanie’s infectious singing on tunes like “Joey,” the CD contains sufficient variety to maintain interest throughout—proof of the varied talents of the Jordan/Chatters families as each member contributes toward the whole. In addition, Marlon’s trumpeting, chameleon-like, assumes the colors of the music he plays, from the mutes Miles Davis’ references of “All Blues” to the reverberating lushness of “Flamingo,” made successful by Marlon’s wide open tone supported by strings.
Now, after years of his absence from recording activity, Marlon Jordan has released the album that he has been thinking about for at least a decade: a production that allows each of his family members to participate as a document of their talents…and for that reason one that’s as valuable to the Jordan/Chatters family members as a family portrait would be.
David Monette 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
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We just spent the week celebrating the 25th anniversary of the completion of the first Monette trump...We just spent the week celebrating the 25th anniversary of the completion of the first Monette trumpet! Great players came in from four continents for three days of concerts, great food and a seriously fun hang! More on this will follow soon, including lots of video from the shop concerts and video interviews with Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Schlueter, Ron Miles, Charles Gorham, Adam Rapa, Marlon Jordon, Urban and Joakim Agnas, Scotty Barnhart, Patrick Hession, Katsu Kameshima, Alfred Willener, Antoine Drye and more.
Berlin Welcomes The Marlon Jordan Quartet
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Berlin November 7, 2005 State Secretary Diwell, Ladies and Gentlemen, Hurricane Katrina ...Berlin
November 7, 2005
State Secretary Diwell,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Hurricane Katrina destroyed the homes and working places of many New Orleans residents, but it could not destroy the spirit of its people. The city of New Orleans is an icon of culture and creativity for America and the world. In America, it is known as the Big Easy, a reference to a low-key, laid-back style of life. A melting pot of people and cultures, it is a city like no other in the world. Just as many nations contributed to shaping the culture of New Orleans over the past 300 years, many nations reached out to help the city in its hour of need.
As a gesture of gratitude for the outpouring of support from the global community in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Department of State welcomed the proposal of Jazz at Lincoln Center to send bands that were representative of the great traditions that make up New Orleans jazz overseas to thank some of the countries that offered such generous assistance. This concert tonight is a token of the gratitude of the people of New Orleans and all Americans to Germany – to the government, businesses, schools, churches and the many individuals who contributed in so many different ways to assist the victims. New Orleans and the American people say, thank you.
On behalf of the Embassy, we would like to recognize the extraordinary contribution of the German Interior Ministry’s Technical Assistance Service. Financed by humanitarian aid funds from the German Foreign Ministry, a team of engineers and medical specialists from the Technical Assistance Service, the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe and the Luxembourg Civil Defense arrived in the U.S. in early September. Deploying a battery of 15 high-capacity pumps, they pumped more than one million cubic meters of floodwater out of New Orleans between the time of their arrival and the end of September. A second team took over at the end of September and continued its work until October 20. The members of these teams worked around the clock, adding a crucial component to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ floodwater removal effort. Some members of those teams are with us tonight. I would like to ask them to stand up. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in giving them a round of applause. Thank you.
We would also like to recognize the students and teachers of the Carl-Bechstein Gymnasium in Erkner who gave a benefit concert for victims of hurricane Katrina.
Our thanks also go to students and teachers of the Clay-Oberschule in Rudow. With their 'Band of Friendship' project, they are raising money to bring several students from the Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, their German American Partnership Program (GAPP) partner school, to Berlin to finish out their school year.
I wish we had time to mention all the individuals and the organizations that worked so hard to help out. To those of you who are here tonight and to the many other people both in Berlin and throughout Germany, please accept our heartfelt thanks.
As the city of New Orleans recovers, our hearts go out to others around the globe affected by natural disasters. The tragic earthquake in South Asia, the mudslides in Guatemala, the drought in West Africa, not to mention the tsunami last December, are yet more reminders of the fragility of human settlements when confronted with the forces of nature.
In the wake of such large-scale disasters, material assistance is critical to alleviate the human suffering that follows. In the long run, however, people also rely heavily on their cultural traditions to rebuild their communities. Restoring the cultural heritage of the Gulf Coast is an essential part of rebirth for these communities. As we band together to offer humanitarian relief to communities affected by natural disasters — whether in the United States, Pakistan, Central America or Africa — it is important to offer help to repair the human spirit.
What a wonderful reminder of our humanity, our genuine concern for other humans in times of trouble.
Tonight, we welcome a group of talented musicians from the New Orleans area. Their music is an integral part of the spiritual strength of the people of this region.
Before we start, allow me to thank Jazz Radio for their technical assistance tonight. I would also like to thank Deutschland Radio Kultur. They are taping the concert this evening for future broadcast. One final announcement: I would like to remind you that everyone is invited to join us for some refreshments following the concert.
And now, please join me in welcoming -- all the way from New Orleans, the Marlon Jordan Quartet, featuring Stephanie Jordan.
America says Thank You, Germany
United States Embassy
November 7, 2005. To say "Thank You" to Germans for their generous support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Marlon Jordan Quartet of New Orleans, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, gave a jazz concert on November 7, 2005 in Berlin at the Rotes Rathaus.
The Marlon Jordan Quartet performed before an audience of 350 invited guests, including representatives of relief organizations, businesses, schools and other institutions that so generously helped the people of New Orleans in their time of need. After the concert, U.S. Ambassador William R. Timken hosted a reception for all invited guests.
During this tour, the Marlon Jordan Quartet will also perform in Romania, Lithuania, and Ukraine to say thanks for the support from those countries. The quartet’s performance in Germany is part of the “New Orleans Jazz Heritage Tours” sponsored by the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. The project gives musicians from the New Orleans area, who have lost their usual venues, an opportunity to share the music that so vividly expresses the region’s melting of cultures.
NPR; Jordan Family Musicians Shape New Orleans Sound
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Talk of the Nation, May 25, 2006 · Sir Edward "Kidd" Jordan was a champion of new styles of jazz...
Talk of the Nation, May 25, 2006 · Sir Edward "Kidd" Jordan was a champion of new styles of jazz in New Orleans, and now his children are making their mark on music.
Marlon Jordan, trumpet
Kent Jordan, flute
Stephanie Jordan, vocals
Listen to the full program by visiting this link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5430737
All About Jazz: You Don't Know What Love Is
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By Woodrow Wilkins Jr. There’s a little bit of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and perhaps such c...By Woodrow Wilkins Jr.
There’s a little bit of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and perhaps such contemporaries as Rick Braun and Chris Botti on You Don’t Know What Love Is. However, there’s a whole lot of Jordan. More to the point, lots of Jordans. This recording, featuring Stephanie Jordan, is definitely a family affair. The Jordans rank with other noted jazz families, like the Adderleys of Florida, the Eubanks of Pennsylvania, the Montgomerys of Indianapolis, and the Laws of Houston. They hail from New Orleans, which has also produced some well-known families of its own: the Nevilles and the Marsalises.
The Jordans are Marlon, trumpet; sister Stephanie, vocals; sister Rachel, violin; father Edward “Kidd,” saxophone; and brother Kent, flute. But the family ties don’t stop there. There is also uncle Alvin Batiste, clarinet; cousin Jonathan Bloom, percussion; uncle Maynard Chatters, trombone; and Chatters’ son, Mark, trumpet.
They all come together for a fantastic voyage through fresh interpretations of eight jazz standards, all injected with a bit of New Orleans vibe. Marlon is clearly the centerpiece of this collection, with Stephanie singing on five of the eight tracks. You Don’t Know What Love Is is his first recording as a leader in eight years. Stephanie performed the title track “Seasons Start” in the Tribeca film release Café Society. She also co-produced Stephanie With Strings with Rachel and members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Rachel is a member of the orchestra and teaches at both Jackson State University and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.
The album kicks right off the bat with a sizzling interpretation of Oscar Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things.” Some covers are simply covers. But sometimes they're done with such verve that the performer implies ownership. With backup strings for dramatic effect, the tune is straightforward through the opening verses. Then it meanders through free-form solos by Jordan’s trumpet and his father’s blistering tenor sax. Bassist David Pulphus then brings us into Miles Davis’ “All Blues,” a sassy offering that highlights pianist Darrel Lavigne and clarinetist Batiste.
Stephanie Jordan joins the ensemble for the melancholy title song. Her tone is crisp, perfect, but not in that polished way that sounds like an opera singer attempting jazz. She is more like a master of technique, yet with plenty of soul. This is particularly noticeable on the delightful “Joey” and the elegant “Portrait,” the latter featuring Chatters on trombone. She also has a playful side, exhibited on the closing “Now Baby, or Never,” which brings to mind West Coast diva Clairdee.
Throughout You Don’t Know What Love Is, Marlon Jordan and his family of musicians treat us to a bit of old and new. Some modern and New Orleans-styled flavors are successfully seasoned with old-school solos, enhanced even further by the background strings. Although Marlon Jordan is the leader, he often steps aside to allow his bandmates a moment in the spotlight—a practice reminiscent of yet another trumpet-playing bandleader: Maynard Ferguson.
Marlon Jordan--Young Lion of Jazz Returns with Release of You Don't Know What Love Is
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Marlon Jordan—Young Lion of Jazz Returns! Jazz Fest Appearance and Release of New Album Marlon Jorda...Marlon Jordan—Young Lion of Jazz Returns! Jazz Fest Appearance and Release of New Album Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan You Don’t Know What Love Is
New Orleans Young Lion of Jazz, trumpeter Marlon Jordan returns to national prominence, once again, with the release of his long anticipated Classic Jazz album You Don’t Know What Love Is on Louisiana Red Hot Records. The album features his sister Stephanie Jordan on breathtaking, silvery vocals on five (5) of the albums eight tracks.
Marlon Jordan is the youngest New Orleans Band Leader ever signed by a major record label - only 17 when signed with Columbia Records! He joined New Orleans' Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Kent Jordan and Harry Connick, Jr. on the label.
Marlon Jordan's first Columbia venture was opening for Miles Davis in Japan. Later he starred in George Wein's brilliantly-conceived supergroup of "Young Lions," which included Roy Hargrove and Mark Whitfield.
You Don’t Know What Love Is also marks the first collaboration of one America’s great Jazz families.
Marlon is joined here by patriarch Kidd Jordan, saxophonist and Southern University Jazz Director; sister Stephanie, winner of the “Billie Holiday Competition” for Jazz vocalist; sister Rachel, violinist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; and three-album Columbia recording artist and internationally touted flautist, brother Kent Jordan . . .
New Orleans marks anniversary of catastrophe with marches, memories
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Aug. 30, 2006, 9:16AM Mourning the dead, praying for rebirth New Orleans marks anniversary of cata...Aug. 30, 2006, 9:16AM
Mourning the dead, praying for rebirth
New Orleans marks anniversary of catastrophe with marches, memories
By THOMAS KOROSEC
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
NEW ORLEANS - Jazz trumpeter Marlon Jordan blew a mournful version of A Closer Walk with Thee as a small procession made its way up the Claiborne Avenue Bridge Tuesday morning.
Toward the back walked Rosemary Coldman, a hotel worker carrying a poster-size picture of her fiance, Lee C. Norman, who died a year ago in the couple's home on Tupelo Street, a few blocks from the bridge in the Lower 9th Ward.
"I'm thinking about what I lost in Katrina. I lost him," said Coldman, looking down at the blurry photo of a smiling man with a little gray around the temples.
From the devastated Lower 9th Ward to the buffed-up streets around the convention center, residents of this slowly, unevenly recovering city marked the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall.
They held memorials in weed-choked neighborhoods and in refurbished auditoriums.
They prayed for both the dead and for the city's rebirth.
At 9:38 a.m., the time the first levee broke, Coldman and several dozen others in the procession dropped red roses into the Industrial Canal as a barge loaded with stone churned the gray waters below.
Overhead, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovered, just as others had done above the neighborhood in the days following the deluge, searching for survivors marooned on rooftops.
"We pray for all of the families of our victims who carry pain, unspeakable pain in their hearts and yet through tears they move forward," New Orleans City Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis told the 9th Ward mourners.
She recalled how hundreds took shelter on the bridge, a high spot above the ward, after the levee broke.
"Your spirit said, 'We aren't here to die. You are here to live,' " Willard-Lewis said, choking back tears. "If ever there is a community that can rise up and say we will rebuild, it is this community. We move forward remembering the 1,600 who are not with us, and the 29-plus who died in this area."
Coldman's fiance, who would have been 60, simply did not want to leave as the storm approached, she said, explaining that she was out of town visiting relatives when Katrina hit.
"He thought he could ride it out, but it was too much," she said.
It wasn't until March that his body was recovered under a section of roof that had dislodged and settled across the street, she said.
Elois Tino was so overwhelmed by the memories of her lost husband, the Rev. Joseph Tino Jr., that she fell behind the memorial procession and bent sobbing over the side of the bridge.
"It's overwhelming," she said. "I'm just overcome."
Her husband, who was 62, had recently retired as the chaplain of Charity Hospital, which closed after the Katrina flood and has not reopened.
Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who in the afternoon led a jazz procession from the convention center to the Superdome, said he thought the first anniversary marked a "psychological hurdle" for the city.
"I see a lot of pain in people's eyes. We need to get past this as a city and we'll be OK," he said.
Reminders of the destruction are everywhere. Poor neighborhoods sit deserted, with blocks of sagging, empty houses, heaps of trash and forests of uncut weeds.
In more affluent areas, yards are dotted with FEMA trailers. Only half of the city's population of a half-million has returned.
At a ceremony hosted by Common Ground, the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond and other community groups, residents' current struggles were more on people's minds.
"I go down to City Hall trying to find out what's gonna happen to my neighborhood and it's, 'No comment. No answers today,' " said Pat Spears, 57, who carried a sign demanding "Right to Return. Justice Now."
Carl Gatmon, who has been displaced to Atlanta, said he believes a plan is in place to rid the city of 228,000 mostly poor and black residents and to turn New Orleans into what he called "the Las Vegas of the South."
Jordan, the trumpeter who led the march up the Claiborne Avenue Bridge, said people are mistrustful, but he is pleased the city is continuing to clean up. "People know we still need help down here.
"We're far from where we need to be but New Orleans isn't gonna die," he said.
Jordan, who waited for five days to be rescued from the roof of his house in the 8th Ward last year, played a buoyant version of Down by the Riverside as the procession marched down from the bridge, in the spirit of a New Orleans funeral procession that turns from solemn to joyful.
"You're saying you're ready to move on with your life," he said. "We're ready to bury the bad stuff but we're not at the point of celebrating just yet."
The Jordans at Chicago's 2006 Jazz Fest
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The Jordans at Chicago's 2006 Jazz Fest The Jordans: Marlon, one of the world top trumpeters, ja...The Jordans at Chicago's 2006 Jazz Fest
The Jordans: Marlon, one of the world top trumpeters, jazz singer Stephanie, older brother Kent, a highly regarded flutist; and Rachel, an classical violinist and music instructor at Jackson State University were featured performers at the 2006 JazzFest in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, August 6, 2006.
This year's celebration is part of the 32nd Annual Duke Ellington Tribute under the theme of Connecting Family Ties. Celebrating Duke Ellington's genius was what Jazz Unites Founder Geraldine de Haas had in mind in 1974 when she and a group of fellow jazz lovers produced the first jazz music concert at the Grant Park Music Shell following his death. That concert became the forerunner of the annual Chicago Jazz Festival as well as the Blues, Gospel, Latin and other free outdoor music festivals in Chicago's downtown parks.
Like many other Katrina victims, the Jordans suffered physical injuries and loses, including homes, priceless instruments and "a lifetime of music." Yet, mere weeks later, that same tragedy propelled this brilliantly talented family into the national spotlight during the nationally televised Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Marlon Jordan who hit the music world hard in the 1990s with three well-praised recordings on the Columbia label and one on the Arabesque label knows first-hand the perils of Hurricane Katrina. Marlon camped out on the roof of his New Orleans East home for five days, waiting to be rescued. "I had a two-story house and my whole bottom floor was flooded, " the 35-year-old said. "I had to bust a hole through the top of the roof and stay out there during the day so they would see us. I built a cabana out of a shower curtain."
A long-line helicopter rescue mission pulled Marlon and his girlfriend from the roof. Not knowing the extent of his injuries, Marlon had two fractured ankles from swimming through flood waters and kicking mailboxes while rescuing two neighbors whose house had caught fire during the ordeal. His latest CD, You Don't Know What Love Is Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan has been well received nationally.
Following the national televised Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit, JazzTimes Magazine wrote, "Stephanie Jordan, a standout here, was the real discovery of the evening. Her haunting rendition of (Here's to Life) this bittersweet ode associated with Shirley Horn was delivered with uncanny poise and a dept of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd and registered to the back rows. Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole..." Kent, Rachel and Marlon added a special musical blend to the tune.
In their billing of Stephanie's return later this year for 4 performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 20 and 21, JALC boasts, "Every so often a new voice stands up and proclaims itself, but few do so with such supreme depth and understated soul..."
Setting the stage for such an imposing tradition is older brother Kent Jordan, the vaunted flutist who hit his stride as a jazz artist on the national scene in the early 1990s. In describing Kent Jordan's latest album Out of This World writer Khephra Burns states, "The clear, authoritative voice that was uniquely his from his debut recording has grown richer...deeply in and of this world in its understanding and expression of the range of human emotions. But it is clearly outside the mundane. Taking what is familiar and making of it something new and surprising, it helps us to see the world in a new way."
Out of This World, is "a synthesis of styles and traditions, " reflecting Jordan's depth and breadth of experience. Featuring instrumental tunes as well as vocals, the arrangements are articulate, intelligent and lyrical.
Kent also recorded with Columbia, cutting three albums on the label. His third Columbia album (1988's Essence) proved to the jazz world that he could play creatively. Kent studied at the Eastman School of Music and New Orleans' Center for the Creative Arts, being inspired at the latter by Ellis Marsalis (with whom he recorded).
Kent's ultimate desire is to create a media organization that will embrace the differences of individual artists. His dream is to make his record label, Funkshenal Art Media a haven for artists who desire to create, not conform and to create a brand that listeners come to associate with a specific lifestyle and emotion.
Violinist Rachel Jordan is still recovering from Katrina's havoc and its aftermath. In addition to losing her home and two prized violins, while returning to New Orleans to see her damaged home she was in a severe car accident. "I dislocated my shoulder and broke my arm in four places. I'm in a certain amount of pain, and it's still not 100 percent, " said Rachel, a professor of violin/viola at Jackson State University in Mississippi.
Rachel received a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where she studied with the great Berl Sernofsky. She has been a featured performer in numerous solo recitals; most notably the Kennedy Center, the Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria, the Music Center of Houston and the Mozart Festival in Washington, D.C.
As an adjunct professor at Dillard University, Rachel started the Jesse Dent Recital series which featured African American Musicians performing classical music and the annual "An Afternoon of Classical Music" chamber music series sponsored by the New Orleans Chapter of the Links. She is also the executive producer and performs on her siblings' You Don't Know What Love Is album.
Their father, saxophonist and Professor Edward "Kidd" Jordan, has performed with notables of every genre and received international recognition for his long dedication to music education - from the halls of academe, to jazz bands and summer camps, to programs he established in Africa. Their pianist mother Edvige was classically trained like most of her children and boasts several musicians on her side of the family as well. Like other families now synonymous with New Orleans music, the Jordans are advancing a tradition of music shaped by family ties.
1. My Favorite Things
2. All Blues
3. You Don't Know What Love Is
7. You Leave Me Breathless
8. Now Baby, Or Never
9. Miles' Mode
11. Ballad for Trane
12. New Orleans Street Beat
13. Learson's Return
There are no upcoming dates at this time.