The Meaning of "Friends"

I invited some of my favorite jazz artists to join me in the studio, and the result was 4 days of joy and celebration, captured in this hour-long recording. In addition to being talented and thoroughly professional, they are all great people and they brought a beautiful energy to this project. I hope you agree with me that the joyous spirit of those sessions comes through in the music.

One of my favorite words is "synergy", which means that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When we work together, we can always do things that none of us could accomplish on our own. In the studio we experienced a marvelous synergy.

But synergy alone is not enough. Although we can do a lot together, our friends are not just tools for accomplishing goals. They are individuals who are worthy of our respect, support and understanding. A good word to describes this is "integration", which goes even beyond synergy. With integration the parts still create a greater whole but they do so without losing themselves in the process. They keep their integrity. On "Friends" we all had a common goal -- everyone wanted everyone to sound good. That's the essence of integration!

Our friendships are integral when we truly appreciate each other for who we are. I tried to do that for my friends on this project, and for sure they all did that for me. As a result, I feel more confident and more deeply at peace within than I've ever felt in my life. So to all my friends who played on this recording or helped behind the scenes to make it happen, I say one big heartfelt "Thank You!"

I hope this recording inspires people to connect more with their own friends and to fully appreciate the blessings those relationships bring to their lives.

--Stanley Jordan, December 2011