Monday, March 14, 2005

Stanley Jordan Revisited

On a trip to California when I was sixteen, I bought this CD,well, technically, back then it was a cassette. I loved it. Its tones were dulcet and mysterious to me, filling me with yearnings I could not name.

I had seen Stanley Jordan on the Tonight Show around that time. Instead of playing the guitar as it is traditionally played, by plucking or strumming the strings, Jordan smacked the strings with his fingertips producing a sound more like a chiming bell than some rock god's axe.

A couple of years ago I bought the CD. I hadn't listened to that music in fifteen years, at least. Hearing it again was like bumping into someone you knew once and realizing how little they'd grown, fun for reminiscing but not someone you want around often. The music that once had thrilled me now left me cold. It sounded generic, like cheap vanilla ice cream, like, well, like Counting Crows.

Just for kicks, I popped it in the player again yesterday. All of a sudden, I was digging it again. Shuffling around the kitchen to Jordan's perky cover of "Eleanor Rigby." I listened to the whole thing three or four times.

Why does that happen? That shifting of tastes back and forth as we age. Is it possible we find things when we are young and saddle them with so much of our embryonic hopes, our emerging identities that we are unable to appreciate them for what they really are until we have some more solid sense of ourselves ?

I was pleased to see Stanley Jordan does have a Web presence, even if it is a little drab.


From his concert schedule, it seems if you live near Reading, Pa. you can see him live tomorrow night.

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