Guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan's career took flight in 1985 with both immediate commercial and critical acclaim for his 'Magic Touch' album for the Blue Note label. On 'Friends', Jordan takes the time-honoured path of inviting a handpicked cadre of guests to perform with him: fellow guitarists Mike Stern, Charlie Hunter, Russell Malone and Bucky Pizzarelli; violinist Regina Carter; saxophonists Kenny Garrett and Ronnie Laws; trumpeter Nicholas Payton; bassists Christian McBride and Charnett Moffett; and drummer Kenwood Dennard.
The resulting music is truly outstanding and ranges from a Bela Bartok piece to a Katy Perry pop smash, a heady original blues and three jazz classics spanning swing, cool and modern. There's a listener-friendly samba, an airy spirit song and an astounding nod to the atonal. Jordan even plays some serious piano on a couple of songs, revisiting his first instrument with newfound confidence and wonder.
(4 stars) He's still the unchallenged master of his amazing self-developed two-handed guitar-tapping technique...a brilliant patchwork of classy standards and originals. -- Evening Standard, (Jack Massarik), October 28, 2011
Fantastic musicians, a set that includes everything from Debussy to Katie Perry, add Jordan's sublime skills and it's jazz Zion. -- Guitar & Bass, November 2011