Jae Ordon Learns To Listen As Life Whispers On

The N.Y.C. folk-jazz singer-pianist reflects on time's inexorable march.


Jae Ordon muses on love, loss and time’s passing with his new single and video Life Whispers On — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

A multi-layered, genre-bending tune trip that time travels through a couple’s whirlwind romance and eventual dissolution, Life Whispers On explores the fleetingness of life and relationships with a chorus that anchors down a central idea of the power of love. “Life Whispers On had come to me in sort of a dream state in pieces over a few years’ time,” recalls N.Y.C. folk-jazz singer-pianist Ordon. “A reflection on life’s relentless yet delicate and unwavering march forward, getting older in a whispering sentimental way of sometimes unnoticed motion wrapping around us while both caressing and weathering.”

Life Whispers On is the first single and opening track to Ordon’s recent album Artificially Natural — a work that came about thanks to a kismet-style meeting 20 years ago, a like-minded connection and a reunion that produced musical magic over just one week in Nashville.

The story: In 2002, while looking for a fourth member for his trio Mascot’s Distance, Ordon put the word out on Craigslist. Broadway guitarist and composer Laurent Medelgi was the first to answer. At the same time, Ordon’s drummer Yutaka Uchida had suggested that Ordon meet his guitarist friend Laurent as a potential new member. “That led me to believe it was a sign — if you believe in that sort of thing,” says Ordon.

With Medelgi, Mascot’s Distance played such N.Y.C. venues as The Cutting Room, Bitter End, Joe’s Pub, Arlene’s Grocery and The Living Room. Their album Chasing Pixie Dust earned some radio play and kudos. But eventually, losing their bass player and other setbacks caused Mascot’s Distance to disband, and Medelgi moved back to his home of Paris.

Fast forward to 2020, when Medelgi reached out to Ordon to tell him that his girlfriend had been crying after listening to Chasing Pixie Dust. “Why was she crying?” Ordon asked. “She thought it was so tragic that Mascot’s Distance never got the acclaim and visibility it deserved, and that it would be great if we could get back in the studio.”

Inspired, Ordon and Medelgi booked four days at Nashville’s Coop de Ville Studios and hunkered down at Ordon’s place in Queens for a week of 14-hour-day song woodshedding. In Music City, Medelgi assembled a group of top-shelf session musicians, including Toto / Steely Dan drummer Keith Carlock, Michael McDonald’s horn section, acclaimed pianist Pat Coil and Christopher Cross / Robben Ford bassist Brian Allen.

Artificially Natural is just one in a long line of achievements for Long Island composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer-songwriter Ordon. He has worked with Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, and actors Hugh Jackman, Taye Diggs, Brittany Murphy and more. Artificially Natural was preceded by the Life Whispers On EP in 2021, and will be followed by the album Berdache, featuring more Nashville songs along with newer material and other recordings.

Watch Life Whispers On above, listen to Artificially Natural below, and follow Jae Ordon on Facebook.