Sheila Jordan’s Getaway Place

Sheila Jordan has a farmhouse retreat in Upstate New York where the 80-year-oldS. Jordan 2.jpg singer goes to develop new music. In The New York Times this week, Lisa A. Phillips wrote a charming story about Jordan and her country life. Here is a sample:

“When I come up here,” she said, “I feel totally undressed musically. I feel I can try out any kind of idea I have.”
On her five and a quarter acres of land atop Canady Hill, her only close neighbors have been the cows the farmer next door once kept. “I called them the bebop cows,” Ms. Jordan said. “They didn’t like ballads. If I sang them a slow tune, they left. If I sang bebop, they came running over.”

To read the whole thing, go here. Do not miss the audio slide show embedded in the article.
Here is Sheila during a Austrialian tour in a tribute to one of her heroes, Billie Holiday. Mike Nock’s trio accompanies her.

When the video clip ends, you will see links to other Jordan performances on YouTube.

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  1. says

    Thanks for the link to the NY Times article on Sheila. She is a marvel of a singer and a fantastic human being and a friend since 1958 when I first met her at The Page Three on 7th Avenue, 2 blocks South from the Vanguard. I was the house pianist and got to accompany her once a week. She was working days and sang the Monday jazz nights.
    What a joy it was to be playing behind her in those days. She never ever missed the first note and all those in between, she scatted her arse off on up tunes, slow tunes and on anything and everything; And Sheila always sang from the heart. She becomes the music. Sheila is music.
    I was also blessed to have her sing my Jazz Requiem in 1968. I wrote the solo parts with her sound in mind. She then went on to learn more of my liturgical jazz compositions, all by ear, one phrase at a time, over and over and over, until it was in her bones and musical psyche; once the score was learned and memorized, she had it down forever.