Stanley Jordan returns to Vilar |

Stanley Jordan returns to Vilar

Ted AlvarezVail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK Guitarists are known for picking at their strings, or strumming them in great arcs and windmills like Pete Townshend. But Stanley Jordan saw something different: A classically trained pianist, he chose to hammer on the strings with the fingers of both his hands, in the process developing a new technique to approach jazz guitar.

Only a few guitarists had used this “touch technique” before Jordan, but he employed it in ways no one had ever dreamed of. Rock guitarists like Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai used fingertapping to play rock solos at hyperspeed, but Jordan tapped out chords and leads using all of his fingers, creating a rich polyphony of sounds. Listening to Jordan might sound like listening to two guitars, or perhaps two guitars and a bass; watching him is like watching a puzzle – as his fingers dance across the fretboard, just try and figure out exactly where all those sounds are coming from.

Jordan’s recorded material can be uneven, but his prodigious talent usually ensures an electrifying live show. He plays mostly his own material, but he includes standards and jazz interpretations of rock classics like Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and the Beatles “Eleanor Rigby.”

Though self-trained, Jordan has academic cred to back up his streetwise talent. Before his discovery, Jordan received a B.A. in music form Princeton, and the Sedona, Ariz. resident is currently pursuing a degree in music therapy.Jordan plays live at Samana Lounge in the Vail Village tonight.

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