Monday, January 4, 2016

Ahmad Jamal - Poinciana Revisited & Freeflight

This collection is evidence that there really are bargains on the compact disc market. Both albums presented here, Ahmad Jamal at the Top : Poinciana Revisited and Freeflight, offer excellent portraits of the great pianist in transition at the end of the '60s and beginning of the '70s. Both feature Jamal's great rhythm section of bassist Jamil Sulieman Nasser and drummer Frank Grant. The first date was recorded in in 1969 at the Top of the Village Gate in New York City. Its reveals Jamal playing in a more driving, percussive style, though he keeps his utterly elegant chord voicings intact. Check the opening reading of Rodgers & Hart's "Have You Met Miss Jones," played as a slippery, complex, hard bop tune with some modal and Latin elements added. The version of "Poinciana" here is quicker, deeper in the rhythmic cut. The reading of Tony Hatch's "Call Me," with an Afro-Cuban rhythmic frame and a very fast tempo, reinvents the pop song. "Theme from Valley of the Dolls" begins almost impressionistically before giving way to gorgeous, slowly and precisely played balladry, in which the pianist extends every line until it bleeds into the next. The set ends with a completely re-visioned "How Insensitive," by Antonio Carlos Jobim, that employs elements of montuno and even rumba in its samba frame. Freeflight, recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1971, is just as satisfying, though Jamal plays a Fender Rhodes piano as well as his grand. Commencing with a charging rendition of McCoy Tyner's "Effendi," Jamal allows the Rhodes' slightly distorted tone to add space and texture — creating space where there is, in fact, very little. Nasser's basslines are a sprint throughout and they lead Jamal to explore the range of the electric keyboard's harmonic possibilities. His reading of Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance," played on the grand piano, highlights the more subtle elements in the composer's lyric palette and finds a second, more disguised one at the tune's heart. The dynamics in the arrangement showcase Jamal's ability to extract fully-voiced chords from minimal elements. The 11-and-a-half-minute rendition of "Poinciana" here stands in sharp contrast to the previous one because of its extended, intricate, sweet lyricism that takes its time before giving way to the midtempo Latin rhythmic figure, as his light-fingered ostinati pop against the rhythm section's skittering strut. Together, these two dates make for a fine portrait of Jamal's ability to reinvent his approach to jazz during a particularly turbulent era, without sacrificing his personality.
Thom Jurek

Source :

Ahmad Jamal
Poinciana Revisited


1 Have You Met Miss Jones (Hart, Rodgers)  3:47
2 Poinciana (Bernier, Simon)  9:19
3 Lament (Jamal)  8:05
4 Call Me (Hatch)  4:51
5 Theme from Valley of the Dolls (Previn, Previn)  4:23
6 Frank's Tune (Strozier)  5:50
7 How Insensitive (De Moraes, Jobim)  5:52
8 Introduction  0:53
9 Effendi (Tyner)  11:27
10 Dolphin Dance (Hancock)  4:51
11 Manhattan Reflections (Jamal)  10:00
12 Poinciana (Bernier, Lliso, Simon)  11:29


Ahmad Jamal - p & el. p [# 8-12]
Sulieman Nasser - b
Frank Gant - dr

Recorded live, Top of the Village Gate, New York City ; 1969 [# 1-7] ; & Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland ; June 17, 1971 [# 8-12]


LaroSwing said...

Thank you!

Orbyt said...

Thanks for sating my Ahmad Jamal fix! Mille mercis Mel.

neil said...

Oh mel! had this for ages as mp3, so thank you so much for thu upgrade...

Phillip said...

Many thanks

kerosene said...

Thanks for the post.What is the password?

J B said...

Wonderful music. Thanks for sharing

rubberduck said...

many thanks, Mel.

ita diegues said...

Gracias Melanchthon.

Melanchthon said...

chemuski said...

Adoro a Jamal.... Gracias Mel !

deGallo said...

Marvelous! Thank you.

Chris said...

Thanks Mel nice to have these two in a lossless format

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

elpeleon said...

Muchas gracias Mel !!

Papashultz said...


Jay said...

muchas gracias!!

Pee said...

I very much like almost everything I've ever heard from Ahmad Jamal. There is something about his touch/sound that really stands out. Thanks for sharing these.