Chris Nordman is a lifelong musician who has traveled across the United States, performing with artists of all stripes and styles. Now based in Central Florida, the Jazz pianist originally hails from Michigan. There he became schooled in the Motor City sound and played with many Motown musicians over the years. He’s backed some of the biggest names in music history including; Chuck Berry, Bob Hope, Mel Torme and The Platters.
The talented performer and arranger got his first taste of the music world as a child, performing in church and school. For a number of years Nordman attended the acclaimed Michigan school, Interlochen Center for the Arts. Growing up with a music teacher for a father, he had endless opportunities to explore sound. A multi-instrumentalist, in addition to his skills on the keys Chris is an accomplished cellist.
Under normal circumstances Chris Nordman is gigging, either with his own band or as a pianist for a variety of musicians. Of course, nothing about the past 12 months qualifies as ‘normal circumstances.’ Locked down like the rest of the world, the artist decided to make productive use of the downtime. If he couldn’t get a live sound in the clubs, he decided he was going to do so in the recording studio. Hence, a new album was born.
“High Wire” is the debut album from the Chris Nordman Trio, released worldwide to all major streaming services on September 18, 2020. The 12 track record is the sound of three immensely talented, seasoned professionals delivering a fantastic set of live Jazz. Chris does double duty on piano and organ. Bassist Ward Dumigan expertly grooves with and without frets on 4, 5 and 6 strings. Meanwhile drummer Joe Adcock moves effortlessly through modern jams and old-school classic grooves. Each of the three fills this set with a perfect combination of disciplined technique and wildly creative improvisation.
From the cool instrumental take on Stevie Wonder’s classic “Isn’t She Lovely” to a beautiful slow Jazz interpretation of “Over the Rainbow,” the Chris Nordman trio takes on classics with both reverence and a healthy dose of creative license. Their extended jam on the Joe Zawinul masterpiece (made famous by Cannonball Adderly) “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” is a real high point. They give George Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ standard “Summertime” a cool Bossa Nova infused groove. And their take on Duke Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” has the perfect swing.
From beginning to end, “High Wire” feels like an afternoon Jazz brunch at your favorite cafe, or maybe a cool night in a dimly lit and smoky club. Remember way back in 2019 when we could all go out and safely enjoy such pleasures? We will again. But until then, the Chris Nordman Trio has a private gig lined up for you. So carve out an hour of your busy day, dim the lights, pour a glass of your favorite libation and cue up “High Wire” for a chill be-bop escape.