The more we emptied the room, the more we’d play: Kidd Jordan

A little late to the party, DownBeat finally publishes a small feature on New Orleans’ tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan just after his 85th birthday. With another hook that Jordan’s most recent CD was recorded the day before Corvid-19 infection fears closed down the entire city, writer Cree McCree stresses the adaptability of Jordan to any situation. Besides educating thousands of young musicians like saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Donald Harrison in colleges and the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, and playing R&B gigs on baritone saxophone, the saxophonist has also been the standard-bearer for Free Jazz in the city for more than half a century. Heavily influenced by hearing first Charlie Parker and later John Coltrane in person, over the years Jordan has played with such avant-garde avatars as saxophonist Ornette Coleman and pianist Cecil Taylor. Like them he keeps performing advanced music his own way, even if it empties the room at clubs and during festival sets, he jokes. Open to all sorts of sounds, Jordan once attended performances by composer John Cage and trumpeter Louis Armstrong on the same evening. As for the future, the saxophonist’s plan is to keep playing the music he loves as long as he can..