He later began playing in rock and soul bands. In 1976, Jordan won an award at the Reno, Nevada, Jazz Festival. He earned a BA in music from Princeton University in 1981, where he studied theory and composition with composer Milton Babbitt and computer music with composer Paul Lansky. While at Princeton in 1979 he played with Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie.
Jordan was the first artist to be signed by Bruce Lundvall when the latter became president of Blue Note Records in 1985 and, consequently, Magic Touch was the first release (not reissue) of the rejuvenated label. Magic Touch was No. 1 on Billboard's jazz chart for 51 weeks, setting a new record. Jordan also made the startup sound for the old Macintosh computers, Power Macintosh 6100, Power Macintosh 7100, and Power Macintosh 8100.
Jordan has performed in over 60 countries on 6 continents. He has performed at many jazz festivals, including: Kool Jazz Festival (1984), Concord Jazz Festival (1985), and the Montreux International Jazz Festival (1985). During the 1980s Jordan played with Quincy Jones, Michal Urbaniak, and Richie Cole. Stanley Jordan has four Grammy Nominations. His 2011 album "Friends" was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Normally, a guitarist uses two hands to play each note. One hand presses down a guitar string behind a chosen fret
to prepare the note, and the other hand either plucks or strums the
string to play that note. Jordan's touch technique is an advanced form
of two-handed tapping. The guitarist produces a note using only one finger by quickly tapping (or hammering) his finger down behind the appropriate fret. The force of impact causes the string to vibrate enough to immediately sound the note, the volume can be controlled by varying the force of impact. Jordan executes tapping with both hands, and more legato than is normally associated with guitar tapping.
A helpful analogy to visualize this technique is the distinction between a harpsichord
and a piano. A harpsichord produces sound by plucking its strings, and a
piano produces sound by striking its strings with tiny hammers.
However, while notes produced on a harpsichord or piano sustain after
the pick has plucked or hammer has struck, fingers must remain on a
tapped note for the sound to continue. This similarity is what led
Jordan to attempt such a technique in the first place; he was a classically trained pianist before playing guitar and wanted greater freedom in voicing chords on his guitar.
Jordan's touch technique allows the guitarist to play melody and chords
simultaneously. It is also possible, as Jordan has demonstrated, to
play simultaneously on two different guitars, as well as guitar and
He plays guitar in all-fourths tuning, from bass to treble EADGCF (all in perfect fourths
as on the bass guitar) rather than the standard EADGBE. He has stated
that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical".
Stanley Jordan's main guitar was built by Vigier Guitars
in 1988: it is an Arpege model on which Vigier made a flat fingerboard,
allowing it to have a very low action (0.5/0.7mm). The low action
facilitates the tapping technique.
Stanley Jordan....can you call him a guitar player? I can't. He is so
much more than that. He is so well above all the others that it's not
even worth trying to compare him to another artist. Listen to "Fundance"
and see what I mean. May I remind you it's only HIM playing. In the
best of ways, I haaate hearing him. The guy is so bloody good it's
unbelievable. You just can't believe it's only him playing. I know
because I saw him play live. It's an outstanding experiment. Why
doesn't he get much more recognition for his work? He deserves it! Not
this trash we see nowadays!Thanks to media-hyped minds the good artists
are being poured down the drain. Save them before it's too late.
1 Impressions 7:17
2 Willow Weep For Me 4:39
3 Autumn Leaves 7:55
4 Still Got The Blues 5:07
5 Fundance 6:25
6 What's Going On ? 4:32
7 Asteroids 4:44
8 Cornucopia (Short Version) 13:00
Guitar, Bass, Drum Programming – Stanley Jordan
Bass – Charnett Moffett, Yossi Fine
Drums – J.T.Lewis*, Jeff Watts*, Kenwood Dennard, Michael Flythe
Keyboards – Bernard Wright
Piano [Acoustic] – Kenny Kirkland
Producer – Stanley Jordan
Synthesizer – Robert Zantay