For our final look at a Smooth Jazz artist, I’d like to talk about the late Ronny Jordan. Ronny was part of the “acid jazz” (a combination of jazz, soul, funk and disco) movement at the end of the last century. The London-born guitarist was essentially self taught, and started out playing behind gospel music acts. When Brit-funk became popular in the early ’80’s, he began to explore other avenues of music. He listed Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery and Grant Green as some of his influences.
One of his early recordings was the 1992 hit “After Hours,” from his 1992 debut album The Antidote, which also contained a cover of Miles Davis’s “So What.” It’s still popular on Smooth Jazz stations.
From his 1993 album The Quiet Revolution, here is “The Jackal,” with vocals by Dana Bryant. This was made famous in a 2000 episode of The West Wing, when C. J. Cregg (played by Allison Janney) lip-synched it.
Ronny Jordan died on January 13, 2014 at the age of 51. None of the obituaries I saw listed a cause of death.
Anyway, that brings the Smooth Jazz theme to a close. Beginning next week, Television Composers: the composers who wrote the theme songs and other music for some of the great shows of the past. Join us next week!