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A Brighter Day

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
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.
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'."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/14/2000
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • UPC: 724352020829
  • Catalog Number: 20208
  • Sales rank: 26,965

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 A Brighter Day (5:43)
  2. 2 Aftermath (6:13)
  3. 3 Mackin - DJ Spinna (7:03)
  4. 4 Why (4:43)
  5. 5 Mystic Voyage (4:13)
  6. 6 Breauxlude (0:55)
  7. 7 London Lowdown (5:13)
  8. 8 Two Worlds (5:50)
  9. 9 Mambo Inn (5:01)
  10. 10 Rio (5:42)
  11. 11 New Delhi (4:55)
  12. 12 Seeing Is Believing (4:56)
  13. 13 5/8 in Flow (6:25)
  14. 14 A Brighter Day - Mos Def (6:17)
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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
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Perfect Blend

    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!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great CD for anyone who likes to chill out w/Acid Jazz

    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.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews