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Brighter Day
     

A Brighter Day

4.5 2
by Ronny Jordan
 
Guitarist Ronny Jordan may have his mind on the '70s, but it's not stuck there. With a groove straight out of a proto-smooth jazz CTI album, BRIGHTER DAY's feel is pure retro. The presence of vibraphonist Roy Ayers on his 1975 hit "Mystic Voyage," is another loving homage to music for which Jordan obviously has a deep place in his heart. Yet Jordan, born in 1962, is

Overview

Guitarist Ronny Jordan may have his mind on the '70s, but it's not stuck there. With a groove straight out of a proto-smooth jazz CTI album, BRIGHTER DAY's feel is pure retro. The presence of vibraphonist Roy Ayers on his 1975 hit "Mystic Voyage," is another loving homage to music for which Jordan obviously has a deep place in his heart. Yet Jordan, born in 1962, is also wired into the beat of his own time. He finds room for hip-hop ("Mackin'," featuring DJ Spinna), vocal-based smooth jazz ("A Brighter Day," with Stephanie McKay, and "Why," with Jill Jones), and contemporary jazz ("5/8 in Flow" with guest appearances by vibraphonist Stefon Harris and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts). With his octave-chording and soul-jazz leanings, Jordan nods to heroes like Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and Grant Green (Jordan covers the Latin standard "Mambo Inn," as did Green back in the '60s). The British-based Jordan recorded A BRIGHTER DAY in New York, and the energy of the city can be felt in every groove.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
As the reality of Y2K took hold, no doubt many artists went with forward-thinking album titles for their first efforts of the new millennium. But guitarist Ronny Jordan wasn't thinking of trendiness or even the calendar shift when he called his Blue Note debut A Brighter Day. His 1992 jazz/hip-hop-fused release The Antidote made him an instant star on London's burgeoning acid-jazz scene. Over the next few years and recordings, however, his pioneering success in this genre proved as much a curse as a blessing, as his sound got muddled through working with outside producers. The wide stylistic diversity on the self-produced A Brighter Day -- which takes him on excursions into Brazilian, Latin, straight-ahead, even Indian music, with only a few passing nods to his acidic roots -- makes for his most organic and honest effort to date. The title also celebrates his most effective electric guitar playing thus far. On the aptly titled "Two Worlds," Jordan spins a crisp, Wes Montgomery-styled melody over an increasingly aggressive bossa-minded percussion pattern, holding occasional but few bar conversations with the uppity, Latin-styled piano of Marcus Persiani. Jordan also goes the Brazilian route on "Rio," albeit with a subtler, more spiritual edge; his muted guitar dances over a sparse rhythm pattern, as haunting angelic vocals ease in and out. A gentle Indian flute harmony and a soaring female chant alternately wrap around his high-toned strings, all over the patter of Shivas Shankar's tablas on a spirited reworking of Victor Feldman's "New Delhi." When he's not exploring the world, Jordan reconnects with the jazz roots that predated his acid-jazz days. A longtime fan of Roy Ayers, he reworks the vibist's 25-year-old "Mystic Voyage" into a funky jam session, holding sparkling, improv, call-and-response exchanges between electric guitar and vibes; it's as if the fan is asking the master, "Am I doing all right?." Vibes also play a crucial role on "5/8 in Flow"; Stefon Harris bubbles over the oddly metered drum pattern of Jeff "Tain" Watts between tight guitar melodies that firmly display Jordan's Wes Montgomery and Grant Green influences. It's clear that Jordan is more at home with all this exploring, but he can't resist paying homage to the sounds that made him famous. His guitar gallops gleefully over a hefty B-3 harmony on "London Lowdown," and DJ Spinna creates cool scratches and otherworldly effects between gentle guitar lines on the hypnotic, retro-minded "Mackin'."

Product Details

Release Date:
03/14/2000
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724352020829
catalogNumber:
20208
Rank:
59129

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ronny Jordan   Primary Artist,Guitar,MIDI Guitar
Roy Ayers   Vibes
Onaje Allan Gumbs   Piano
Steve Wilson   Flute
Jeff "Tain" Watts   Drums
Poogie Bell   Drums
Zachary Breaux   Guitar
Joel Campbell   Keyboards,MIDI Synthesizer
Neil Clarke   Percussion
Andy González   Upright Bass
Philip Hamilton   Voices
Steve Lewinson   Acoustic Bass
Brian Mitchell   Hammond Organ
Clarence Penn   Drums
Marcus Persiani   Piano
Stephanie McKay   Vocals
Mos Def   Track Performer
Stefon Harris   Vibes
Todd Horton   Trumpet
Bruce Flowers   Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,MIDI Synthesizer
Ian Martin   Acoustic Bass
Jill Jones   Vocals

Technical Credits

Edgar Sampson   Composer
Ronny Jordan   Producer,drum programming
Brian Bacchus   Producer
Joel Campbell   Producer
Steve Lewinson   Producer,Engineer
Bruce Lundvall   Executive Producer
Steve Hardy   Engineer
DJ Spinna   Producer,Remixing
Ticklah   Producer
Mario Marin   Engineer
Todd David Wagnild   Composer

Customer Reviews

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A Brighter Day 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know how he does it with his guitar, but when you're listening to Ronny Jordan going away at it, it's like someone's speaking to you in a beautiful, alluring sort of language that can't be expressed in words, only emotions. I thought I'd give this CD a try after I'd heard some other stuff by him on some other CD's I own, and I don't regret it. I'm definitely interested in hearing more stuff by him. Since I've bought this CD, I listen to it at least once a day. I think this CD, in many respects, embodies what acid jazz is and is becoming. Seriously, if you love chillin to some good music and are looking for something different, Ronny Jordan's the way to go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply put, the most intelligent treatment of jazz hip-hop fusion I have ever heard. If your a jazz fan who doesnt like hip-hop you might be pulled in. If your a hip-hop fan lacking an interest in jazz, vice versa. Enjoy "A Brighter Day" its one incredibly creative ride!!