Saturday, August 20, 2016


I went to a comedy thing last night, my sister competing against a handful of other comics in a competition where the best four move on to the next round. She made it to the next round, thank you very much, but not before some objectionable material was presented. Objectionable to me and about zero others in the room. It wasn't a particular word, or anything lewd or disgusting. That stuff doesn't offend me much. In her hilarious bit about taco shops, she mentioned that she could only tolerate the accordion in norteño music because it came with tacos attached. It didn't bother me that my sister has an aversion to norteño music. Like I said, it was likely just me that was bothered by the statement. What bothers me is that norteño music, including the variant Tex-Mex, is unappreciated in general by music lovers that consider themselves open to all sorts of other types of music. Why this is, I'm not certain. But I thought I might try to change my sister's mind, and perhaps others, by posting some stuff I liked. Flaco Jimenez was to be Exhibit A. To further my case, I went for a handy Exhibit B, and that's when the wheels came off. Fucking Esteban "Steve" Jordan. That guy was so damn nuts. It's not often that you think of Hendrix, Coltrane or even King Tubby, when you're thinking about the accordion, but, man, Jordan liked to fuck with things. He might not convince my sister to reevaluate norteño music, Tex-Mex or the accordion, but I think we can all appreciate his style; his, I don't know, undefinable weirdness. Surely my sister digs weird.

First thing you notice is his appearance. Is he an overly groomed ladies man, or will he rip your head off? I'm not going into that, I don't want to ruin it for anyone unfamiliar with him. He just looks like that. Before you start digging for his backstory, check these. "Las Coronelas" is a pretty straight up, with a couple tweaked parts. I could do without the chorus. It gets better. "Squeeze Box Man" is more my speed, accordion funk as far as I'm concerned. "Polkaplex" was written for his beloved Echoplex. Really. Ode to a tape delay. But wait, don't skip the videos. Start with the early one, "Ela Casabel". So fucking good. The cowbell, or whatever it is, is really prominent in the mix which kinda adds to it. Stick around for the flute solo by another member of the band. It smokes, even in that context. No, especially in that context. It's early Jordan too, but you can tell that he already knows he's badass. Next check "Fly Robin Fly". Dude goes effects crazy. Disco Tejano dub. Kraftwerk meets King Tubby in Texas. Something like that. "Clockwise" is insane. Stick around until at least :49 seconds into it. That's where he really takes off. If you have any doubts about whether this is jazz, replace the accordion with a sax. What didn't he do with that thing?

Esteban Jordan - Las Coronelas mp3
at Let's Polka
Esteban Jordan - Squeeze Box Man mp3
at Super Sonido
Esteban Jordan - You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling mp3 at To the Sublime
Esteban Jordan - Polkaplex (streaming) at YouTube
Esteban Jordan - El Casabel at YouTube From Austin City Limits
Esteban Jordon - Fly Robin Fly at YouTube
Esteban Jordan - Clockwise at YouTube


Cole Morris said...

Fly Robin Fly grooves like a motherfucker. Thanks again dude.

Anonymous said...

Cool stuff; thanks for posting.