Saxophonist Ian Tordella is an emerging voice on the West Coast jazz scene, and has worked with guitarist Peter Sprague, pianist Joshua White, saxophonist Jason Robinson, and others. His sound is rooted in the hard-bop players of the ‘50s and ‘60s, drawing inspiration from Sonny Stitt, Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, and Coltrane. Tordella’s jazz compositions, however, incorporate sounds from trip-hop, rock, and electronica; he cites Meshell Ndegéocello, Stereolab, and Warp Records as influences, alongside jazz composers like Wayne Shorter and Kenny Wheeler. Raised in the Washington, DC area, Tordella attended the University of North Texas before transplanting to California in 2003, where he furthered his studies under altoist Charles McPherson.
“Tordella […] has a highly evolved saxophone technique that seems to be modeled on Wayne Shorter, both in his playing and composing.” –San Diego Reader
“Runs changes with the best of them […] and plays with a full and clear dark-toned energy.” –jazzreview.com
“The horizons that the California saxophonist opens for his listeners are impressive” –Jazz Quad Magazine, Belarus
“Tordella's chops are apparent throughout the album, but what separates this album from most other debuts is his restraint.” –Magnolia (2010) review, jazzhothouse.com
[bio updated 2013]