Jordan Officer
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Jordan Officer

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Susie Arioli Featuring Jordan Officer: On their fifth album, Night Lights, Susie puts her own special touch, as always, on a number of standard jazz classics. Pieces such as Blue Skies, Can’t We Be Friends and Beyond the Sea feature her distinct, original sound. This new opus not only thrills Quebecers since its release, but also contributes to Susie’s rise on the international scene. She already enjoys growing popularity in France, Japan and the United States, where she has sold several thousand albums. Released under the Spectra Musique label, Night Lights, Susie is as always accompanied by her outstanding musical soul mate, guitar player and producer of Night Lights, Jordan Officer,

The Susie Arioli Band, as it was named originally, with core members Susie Arioli on vocals and snare, and arranger Jordan Officer on guitar, wowed the public with its first performance at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in July 1998. Unknown until that time, the band delivered a near-flawless set. Their stellar performance garnered them an extraordinary invitation: to open for Ray Charles.

Since then, the group’s popularity has taken off in Quebec and the rest of Canada. In 2000, Susie and her group were the first artists to sell out a show at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. A number of their shows have since sold out, and their fan base has skyrocketed, thanks to the smooth voice and charisma of Susie Arioli together with the deft artistry and sensitivity of Jordan Officer.

The May 2001 launch of the album It’s Wonderful in Toronto impressed the local media at the Top of the Senator club during the JVC Jazz festival: “Susie is unerringly right in what she chooses to sing and unrivalled in how she sings it,” said Peter Goddard of the Toronto Star. “And what’s so incredible is that the band has succeeded in putting the others out of our mind,” says Serge Truffaut of Le Devoir. “Susie Arioli is a rare gem… with festive, balanced, well-played music,” praised Claude Côté of Voir. Among the most noteworthy performances on the band’s 2001 tour were those at the famous Birdland Club in New York, where the group bedazzled the New York public and jazz lovers alike, the Festival Django Reinhardt in Paris and Royal Festival Hall in London.
In 2002, Susie Arioli and Jordan Officer produced their second album, Pennies from Heaven, selling more than 48,000 copies. This album is yet another collection of gems, all masterfully chosen songs, and backed by the late pianist Ralph Sutton and late guitarist Jeff Healey.

In 2004, Susie Arioli launched That’s For Me, which sold nearly 50,000 copies and was produced by John Snyder, well-known for his work with Chet Baker, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden and Etta James (which won him a Grammy). The first French-language track was a magnificent version of Nuages, Django Reinhardt’s classic (lyrics by Jacques Larue), while the first English-language track featured a gentle version of the unforgettable You Don’t Know Me, which was popularized by the legendary Ray Charles.

In October 2005, the Susie Arioli Band was back in studio recording Learn to Smile Again, undisputedly the most accomplished album of the band’s career to date. This fourth album pays tribute to the legendary country singer Roger Miller. Scrupulously avoiding Miller’s best-known compositions, the Susie Arioli Band opts instead to explore more obscure pleasures such as Husbands & Wives, Less and Less and A Million Years or So. Two original instrumentals by Officer are also featured on Learn to Smile Again, as well as a retake of Irma Thomas’ Ruler of My Heart, and a sublime interpretation of the jazz standard By Myself. The masterpiece on this album is an incredible version of the Jimmy Web classic By the Time I Get to Phoenix, a song illustrating the band’s Americana/roots dimension with panache.

The band’s first DVD, recorded during the Festival’s 2006 edition under the title Live at Le Festival de Jazz de Montréal, was released in April 2007. In June of the same year, the DVD, together with a live CD, was certified “Gold” in Canada.

The Susie Arioli Band wound up its Canada-wide tour with a big concert in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, as part of the 2007 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, accompanied by the prestigious I Musici orchestra. This live DVD/CD was released in France in October 2007, at the start of the band’s European concert tour.