Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad Jamal's 1960s trio, with Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell Fournier on drums, was, to some, one of the more influential small groups in jazz. To others, his work was just a mere cut above lounge playing. Recorded almost two years to the day after his most popular trio album At the Pershing, Happy Moods is a program of mostly standards, a flirtation with a classical piano piece and two Jamal originals. Playing with his patented sneaky left-hand voicings and his jingling right hand, interspersed with block chords all within a lean framework, the performances offered by this album are representative of Jamal's work of the period. He takes a piece of fluff like "Little Old Lady" and transforms it into a fugue replete with the counterpoint that personifies this classical form. An up-tempo "You'd Be So Easy to Love," highlighting Vernell Fournier's brushes, is tastefully garnished with runs and chords borrowed from fellow Pittsburgher Erroll Garner. Billy Strayhorn's "Raincheck" features heady arpeggios as well as quotes from "I'm Beginning to See the Light." All very good stuff and more.


With regard to arguments about Jamal's rightful position in the jazz pantheon, including the extent of his influence on others, Happy Moods does nothing to diminish the position of those who believe that the pianist deserves a considerably higher spot than he is usually accorded.
Dave Nathan
Source :

Ahmad Jamal
Happy Moods


1 Little Old Lady (Adams, Carmichael) 5:18
2 For All We Know (Coots, Lewis) 2:48
3 Pavanne (Gould) 5:48
4 Excerpt from the Blues (Jamal) 3:04
5 You'd Be So Easy to Love (Porter) 3:23
6 Time on My Hands (Adamson, Gordon, Youmans) 1:38
7 Raincheck (Strayhorn) 4:46
8 I'll Never Stop Loving You (Brodszky, Cahn) 3:05
9 Speak Low (Nash, Weill) 4:58
10 Rhumba No. 2 (Jamal) 2:40
11 Ahmad's Waltz (Jamal) 4:45
12 Valentina (Christine, Reynolds) 2:22
13 Yesterdays (Harbach, Kern) 2:58
14 Tempo for Two (Kennedy) 3:28
15 Hallelujah (Grey, Robin, Youmans) 2:09
16 It's a Wonderful World (Adamson, Savitt, Watson) 2:52
17 Baia (Barroso) 4:02
18 You Came a Long Way from St.Louis (Brooks, Russell) 3:39
19 Lover Man (Davis, Ramirez, Sherman) 4:07
20 Who Cares ? (Gershwin, Gershwin) 3:13

[# 1-10] HAPPY MOODS
Ahmad Jamal - p
Israel Crosby - b
Vernell Fournier - dr
Recorded in Chicago ; January 20/21, 1960
Same as above, plus special Guests
Joe Kennedy - vl
Ray Crawford - g
Recorded in Chicago ; August 15-17, 1960


Melanchthon said...

Philo said...

Ahmad Jamal - Happy Moods & Listen (1960)

Wow! I have both these albums from vinyl. This is better.

Thanks very much.

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you very much for another excellent 2-fer!

Bradley Lehman said...

Could you please reload this one? Thanks!