Jordan Baskin, who Chicago Tribune calls a "promising & distinctive
young artist¯" & Dr. Billy Taylor proclaims as a "wonderful
pianist"¯, has been a fixture in Chicago since he graduated from Indiana
University in 2001. Over the next several years, Baskin has had
many incredible performance experiences highlighted by a residency at
the Kennedy Center, participation in the Banff International Jazz
Workshop & Ravinia Festival, Steans Institute of Jazz,
performances at Grant Park, Ravinia Festival, Symphony Center, NAMM,
IAJE, Calgary Jazz Festival, the Kaslo Jazz Fest, & multiple tours
throughout the United States & Canada. He has recorded for
Delmark, Cellar Live, & Chicago Public Radio, and has performed
with some very elite musicians including Ira Sullivan, Howard Levy,
Mike Smith, Von Freeman, Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Michael Karn, George
Fludas, Jeff Parker, Lew Soloff, Dr. Odies Williams & Doug Lawrence. Jordan is the pianist
for the Mike Smith Quartet, Dr. Odies Williams Quintet, & he leads
his trio (Jake Vinsel-bass, Brian Ritter-drums) Sundays at Andy's Jazz Club.
Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich writes about Jordan Baskin:
Chicago seems to produce a disproportionate number of excellent jazz
pianists, and one of the more promising has launched a weekly
engagement at Andy's Jazz Club.
Though native Chicagoan Jordan Baskin has appeared
in rooms such as Andy's and SmokeDaddy for the past few years, his new
Tuesday after-work set seems likely to build a following for him.
The gentleness of his keyboard touch and the searching quality of his
chord choices point to a distinctive young artist.
On Tuesday night, Baskin led a finely honed trio
through a series of jazz standards and occasionally more exotic
fare. Through-out, the pianist emphasized musical substance over
flash, long-spun melody lines over virtuoso display.
If George Gershwin's songbook remains central to
practically every mainstream jazz pianist, few take on the blues aria
"My Man's Gone Now," from "Porgy and Bess." Baskin's version
proved poetic, the pianist transforming the piece into a kind of jazz
nocturne, complete with gorgeous ornaments in the right hand and lush
chordal support in the left. He was nimbly supported by bassist
Jake Vinsel and drummer Brian Ritter.------taken from the 1/17/08 Chicago Tribune