Miles once said, "All my inspiration today comes from Ahmad Jamal." These recordings are the reason why. The mid fifties was a fertile time for jazz; fresh, original ensembles were taking shape all over the country. The Modern Jazz Quartet, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Jazz Messengers and the Ahmad Jamal Trio immediately come to mind. Among musicians, each group had its imitators and its creative disciples who took its innovations one step further.
The complete, legendary recordings made by Ahmad Jamal with the guitarist Ray Crawford in Trio and Quintet context. ‘Listen to the way Jamal uses space. He lets it go so that you can feel the rhythm section and the rhythm section can feel you. It’s not crowded. Ahmad is one of my favourites. I live until he makes another record.’ Miles Davis, 1958. The complete, legendary recordings made by Ahmad Jamal with the guitarist Ray Crawford in Trio and Quintet context. Jamal’s trios are considered to be amongst the most important in the history of jazz, creating unique articulations of space, openness and light, which still seem so far ahead of their time and which made such a profound impression on Miles Davis and his arranger, Gil Evans.
This release compiles all of the originally issued recordings made by the classic Ahmad Jamal Trio with Israel Crosby and Vernel Fournier between 1958 and 1962 (Crosby died on August 11, 1962 at the age of 43). Included here are the legendary club performances taped in 1958 at the Pershing Lounge, in Chicago, as well as the subsequent sets recorded at the Spotlight, the Alhambra and the Blackhawk, plus various other sessions. This was the music that made Jamal famous. As a bonus, nine earlier versions of tunes from our set recorded by different formations of the Jamal trio.
This performance by pianist Ahmad Jamal was recorded at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France in 1981 and features such songs as "My Funny Valentine" and "Dolphin Dance."
One of the most individualistic pianists, composers, and arrangers of his generation, Ahmad Jamal's disciplined technique and minimalist style had a huge impact on trumpeter Miles Davis, and Jamal is often cited as contributing to the development of cool jazz throughout the 1950s.
This DVD highlights the advantages perfectly: there are loads of camera angles, and the cutting between long views and close ups of Jamal's facial expressions and hand gestures to the others, Heard's fingering and Israel's cymbals really adds to the live jazz experience.
A sorely underexposed figure and a major influence on Miles Davis, pianist Ahmad Jamal isn't generally ranked among the all-time giants of jazz, but he impressed fellow musicians and record buyers alike with his innovative, minimalist approach.
A sorely underexposed figure and a major influence on Miles Davis, pianist Ahmad Jamal isn't generally ranked among the all-time giants of jazz, but he impressed fellow musicians and record buyers alike with his innovative, minimalist approach. Jamal's manipulations of space and silence, tension and release, and dynamics all broke new ground, and had an impact far beyond Jamal's favored piano trio format. As an arranger, Jamal made the most of his small-group settings by thinking of them in orchestral terms: using his trademark devices to create contrast and dramatic effect, and allowing the rhythm section a great deal of independence in its interplay.
This fascinating date features pianist Ahmad Jamal at the beginning of his recording career. With guitarist Ray Crawford and either Eddie Calhoun or Israel Crosby on bass, Jamal showcases a style that would be a major influence on Miles Davis' music. Jamal's use of space and dynamics was very different than the style of any other jazz pianist of the era. His versions of "Old Devil Moon," "Will You Still Be Mine?," "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," and "A Gal in Calico" inspired Miles to record the songs in a similar fashion, and his "Billy Boy" became the basis of a performance by the Red Garland Trio. Most fascinating is Jamal's inventive interpretation of "Pavanne," for it has a section very reminiscent of "So What" (which was not "composed" by Davis until over two years later) and a melody statement that is exactly the same as John Coltrane's "Impressions."