STANLEY JORDAN, London 1995.

Stanley Jordan’s discovery in the early ’80s rightfully earned a lot of headlines in the jazz world as he came up with a new way of playing guitar. Although he was not the first to use tapping, Jordan’s extensive expertise gave him the ability to play two completely independent lines on the guitar (as if it were a keyboard) or, when he wanted, two guitars at a time. He had originally studied piano, although he switched to guitar when he was 11.

After graduating from Princeton in 1981, Jordan played for a time on the streets of New York. Soon he was discovered, had the opportunity to play with jazz greats Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie, and later signed with the legendary Blue Note label.

In 1995 I was asked to take some photographs of the singer Des’ree in concert by her manager, who’d seen my work and bought some prints, which was nice. He also managed my next door neighbour, the musician Tim Atack who played in Des’ree’s band.* Her second album, I Ain’t Movin’, was in the charts and would sell in excess of 2.5 million copies.

Stanley Jordan was the support act and this is one of my favourite images of the many musicians I’ve photographed over the years, which is just as well as the shots I took of Des’ree were shite.


*There’s a photograph of Tim Atack in the Locals gallery.