Ahmad Jamal's minimalist style has served him well throughout his career, as he enjoys making frequent sudden detours in the midst of a performance, with his intuitive rhythm section able to adapt on the fly. His longtime bassist James Cammack and drummer Idris Muhammad are joined by Latin percussionist Manolo Badrena for these 2007 sessions.
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.
Still going strong at the age of 81, legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal's love letter to his favorite Broadway, Hollywood, and Great American Songbook classics, Blue Moon, is arguably one of his most accomplished efforts since his Chess/Impulse! heyday. The Pittsburgh virtuoso, once credited by Miles Davis as a major influence on his career, shows that age is no barrier to invention with six exquisite reworkings of postwar standards.
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.
Well into his golden years, Ahmad Jamal continues to tour and record with the vigor of a man half his age. What is also evident is that his artistic sense is as high as it has ever been, as he consistently doles out fresh new melodies charged by his extraordinary talent, which is hardly reined in.