Oscar Jordan hails from the South Side of Chicago. An actor by training, which led to parts in "ER," and "Seinfeld" among others, he started playing the blues around 10 years ago. Currently based in LA, Jordan's debut album marks him out as a talent worth keeping an eye out for. "Mister Bad Luck" may clock in at under 40 minutes, but there is plenty of quality on offer.
The album gets off to a good start with "It's The Truth," which rocks along nicely. On this one Jordan sounds stylistically (and vocally) a bit like SRV. It is not the only place where the comparison can be made either, although it would be a misjudgment to mark Jordan down as an SRV copyist.
Jordan does not stick rigidly to any particular style, so on the second track ("Live To Tell") things get a little funkier. This is largely down to Dave Goldstein's clavinet, although Jordan does weigh in with some flashy guitar work, described as "wah abuse" in the track listing! He also gets a lot more soulful on the slow burner "You Better Run."
Elsewhere there is bit of New Orleans ("Thinking Out Loud") some Texas/West
Coast (the excellent "Hey Now Baby!" complete with horns), and even a little bit of jazz ("The One That Got Away"). The eclectic style hangs together very well for most of the album, with Jordan's vocals and guitar generally providing the center of attention. He is ably supported by the engine room of Frank Scarpelli (bass) and either Chris Cooke or Bill Broome (drums), supplemented by others as appropriate (horns, backing vocals and
"Mister Bad Luck" shows that Oscar Jordan has got the talents that deserve a wider audience. His eclectic style may not suit everybody, but as Jordan notes, it does reflect his tastes. He is an accomplished guitarist with a good voice, and a nice line in songs. With the right backing, the future for Jordan could be bright.
You can now order other CDs, books, and videos from Blues On Stage in association with Amazon.com. Simply click on the logo at the left and shop! They have some of the best prices on the web and even offer some used product at lower prices.
This review is copyright © 2002 by Gordon Baxter, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.