He calls it his “touch technique”: a guitar style that involves tapping, not plucking, the strings, such that he can play two and even three lines at a time. Stanley Jordan developed the technique, thus cementing his place as one of the instrument’s major innovators, at age 17—but he’s not content to rest on those laurels. Instead, Jordan’s career as a jazz musician has been packed with ambition. He embraces a repertoire that stretches from Miles Davis to the Beatles to Ravel and has often worked with the most creative musicians and ensembles in jazz. Nevertheless, it’s when Jordan plays solo that his gifts are truly unleashed. His impeccable taste and ideas work best unadorned, and his ability to pack a full-band sound into his guitar, and even to play the six-string and the piano simultaneously, is a thing to behold.
STANLEY JORDAN PERFORMS SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. AND 10 P.M. AT BLUES ALLEY, 1073 WISCONSIN AVE. NW. $25. (202) 337-4141.