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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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In Remembrance of Ronny Jordan

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Ronny Jordan took his last breath on January 13 of this year. He was 51 years old, and the cause of death is still unknown at this time.

Jordan was a London-born jazz guitarist who was the leader of the acid jazz movement that began in the 80’s in the London club scene.

Jordan described acid jazz as urban jazz. It combines jazz with the urban sounds of soul, funk disco and hip-hop. Acts from the US that might sound familiar include A Tribe Called Quest or Digable Planets. Since electronic music became so popular in the club scene in the 90’s, the name “acid jazz” went kind of extinct and artists under that umbrella were more so linked to jazz funk, neo soul or jazz rap, like the two aforementioned groups. His 2000 album A Brighter Day rose to #10 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart, and the track "A Brighter Day," featuring Mos Def, reached at #20 for rap songs.

Jordan’s song, “The Jackal,” brought him to prominence as it was lip-synched by Allyson Janney on an episode of The West Wing in ‘93 and then again twenty years later on the Arsenio Hall Show.

Ronny Jordan is gone physically, but he and his essence still live on through the music he left with us.