Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ahmad Jamal Trio - The Classic 1958-1962 Recordings

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. Though Jamal was a highly technically proficient player, well-versed in the gymnastic idioms of swing and bebop, he chose to play in a more pared down and nuanced style. Which is to say that while he played with the skill of a virtuoso, it was often what he chose not to play that marked him as an innovator. Influenced by such pianists as Errol Garner, Art Tatum, and Nat King Cole, as well as big-band and orchestral music, Jamal developed his own boundary-pushing approach to modern jazz that incorporated an abundance of space, an adept use of tension and release, unexpected rhythmic phrasing and dynamics, and a highly melodic, compositional style.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 2, 1930, Jamal was a child prodigy and began playing piano at age 3, discovered by his uncle. By the time he was 7 years old, Jamal was studying privately with Mary Cardwell Dawson, the founder of the National Negro Opera Company. An accomplished musician by his teens, Jamal performed regularly in the local jazz scene and in 1949 toured with George Hudson's Orchestra. After leaving Hudson, he joined swing violinist Joe Kennedy's group the Four Strings, with whom he stayed until Kennedy's departure around 1950.
After leaving the Four Strings, Jamal relocated to Chicago, where he formed his own group, the Three Strings with bassist Eddie Calhoun and guitarist Ray Crawford. The precursor to the later Ahmad Jamal Trio, the Three Strings would, at different times, include bassists Richard Davis and Israel Crosby. During a stint in New York City, the Three Strings caught the ear of legendary Columbia record exec and talent scout John Hammond who signed the group to the Columbia subsidiary Okeh in 1951. During this time, Jamal released several influential albums including Ahmad Jamal Trio Plays (also known as Chamber Music of the New Jazz) on Parrot (1955), The Ahmad Jamal Trio on Epic (1955), and Count 'Em 88 on Argo (1956). Some of the landmark songs recorded during these sessions included "Ahmad's Blues" and "Pavanne," both of which had a profound impact on Miles Davis, who later echoed the spare, bluesy quality of Jamal's playing on his own recordings.
In 1958, Jamal took up a residency in the lounge of the Pershing Hotel in Chicago. Working with bassist Crosby and drummer Vernell Fornier, Jamal recorded the seminal live album, Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing: But Not for Me. Comprised primarily of jazz standards, including his definitive version of the buoyant Latin number "Poinciana," the album showcased Jamal's minimalist phrasing and unique approach to small group jazz, emphasizing varied dynamics and nuanced shading as opposed to the high energy freneticism commonly associated with jazz of the '40s and '50s.
Though somewhat misunderstood by critics at the time who did not fully appreciate the inventive qualities of Jamal's playing, the album proved a commercial success and remained on the Billboard album charts for over two years -- a rarified achievement for a jazz musician of any generation.
The smash success of Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing: But Not for Me raised the musician's profile and allowed him to open his own club and restaurant, The Alhambra, in Chicago in 1959. During this time, Jamal released several albums on the Argo label including Ahmad Jamal Trio, Vol. 4 (1958), Ahmad Jamal at the Penthouse (1960), Happy Moods (1960), Ahmad Jamal's Alhambra (1961), and All of You (1961). Unfortunately, The Alhambra closed in 1961. The following year, Jamal disbanded his trio, moved to New York City and took a two year hiatus from the music industry...
Matt Collar

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ahmad-jamal-mn0000127369/biography

Ahmad Jamal
The Classic


Cd. 1

1 But Not For Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:32
2 The Surrey With The Fringe On Top (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  2:35
3 Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf, Blackburn)  3:10
4 Music ! Music ! Music ! (put Another Nickel In) (Weiss, Baum)  2:57
5 There is No Greater Love (Jones, Symes)  3:24
6 Poinciana (Simon, Bernier)  8:08
7 Woody ‘n You (Gillespie)  3:40
8 What’s New ? (Haggart, Burke)  4:11
9 Too Late Now (Lane, Lerner)  2:31
10 All The Things You Are (Kern, Hammerstein)  3:12
11 Cherokee (Noble)  3:42
12 It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  3:27
13 I’ll Remember April (Raye, DePaul, Johnston)  2:41
14 My Funny Valentine (Rodgers, Hart)  3:27
15 Gone With The Wind (Magidson, Grubel)  3:24
16 Billy Boy (trad. arr. Jamal)  3:00
17 It’s You Or No One (Styne, Cahn)  3:34
18 They Can’t Take That Away From Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)  4:45
19 Poor Butterfly (Hubbell, Golden)  3:40
20 Secret Love (Webster, Fain)  2:42
21 Taking A Chance On Love (Duke)  1:49
22 Soft Winds (Goodman, Henderson)  3:20


Cd. 2

1 Taboo (Russell, Lecuona)  4:05
2 Should I ? (Freed, Brown)  3:42
3 Stompin’ At The Savoy (Goodman, Webb, Sampson)  4:14
4 The Girl Next Door (Blane, Martin)  3:28
5 I Wish I Knew (Gordon, Warren)  3:43
6 Cheek To Cheek (Berlin)  4:51
7 Autumn in New York (Duke)  3:21
8 Secret Love (Webster, Fain)  3:53
9 Squatty Roo (Hodges)  2:19
10 That’s All (Brandt, Haymes)  2:39
11 This Can’t Be Love (Rodgers, Hart)  5:02
12 Autumn Leaves (Prévert, Kosma, Mercer)  7:45
13 Ahmad’s Blues (Jamal)  3:54
14 Ole Devil Moon (Harburg, Lane)  3:56
15 Seleritus (Jamal)  3:08
16 It Could Happen To You (Burke, VanHeusen)  4:14
17 Ivy (Carmichael)  2:56
18 Tater Pie (Ashby)  3:07
19 Let’s Fall in Love (Koehler, Arlen)  5:03
20 Aki And Ukthay (Brother & Sister) (Jamal)  3:16  


Cd. 3

1 You Don’t Know What Love Is (Raye, DePaul)  3:30
2 I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (Rodgers, Hart)  4:35
3 So Beats My Heart For You (Ballard, Henderson, Waring)  3:39
4 A Gal in Calico (Schwartz, Robin)  4:46
5 Our Delight (Dameron)  3:02
6 Little Old Lady (Carmichael, Adams)  5:16
7 For All We Know (Coots, Lewis)  2:47
8 Pavanne (Gould)  5:47
9 Excerpt from The Blues (Jamal)  3:04
10 Easy to Love (Porter)  3:20
11 Time on My Hands (Gordon, Youmans, Adamson)  1:36
12 Raincheck (Strayhorn)  4:44
13 I’ll Never Stop Loving You (Cahn, Brodszky)  3:03
14 Speak Low (Weill, Nash)  4:55
15 Rhumba No.2 (Jamal)  2:40
16 We Kiss in The Shadow (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  5:05
17 Sweet and Lovely (Arnheim, Daniels, Tobias)  4:00
18 The Party’s Over (Styne, Comden, Green)  3:59
19 Love For Sale (Porter)  4:02
20 Snow Fall (Thornhill)  2:30


Cd. 4

1 Broadway (Byrd, McRae, Woode)  7:41
2 Willow Weep For Me (Ronell)  3:58
3 Autumn Leaves (Prévert, Kosma, Mercer)  3:52
4 Isn’t It Romantic (Rodgers, Hart)  4:28
5 The Breeze And I (Lecuona, Stillman)  2:22
6 Time On My Hands (Gordon, Youmans, Adamson)  6:20
7 Angel Eyes (Dennis, Brent)  4:15
8 You Go To My Head (Coots, Gillespie)  11:03
9 Star Eyes (Raye, DePaul)  5:57
10 All Of You (Porter)  5:01
11 You’re Blasé (Sivier, Hamilton)  3:29
12 What Is This Thing Called Love ? (Porter)  6:14
13 Poinciana (Simon, Bernier)  9:35
14 Autumn Leaves (Prévert, Kosma, Mercer)  2:40
[1955 Studio Version]


Cd. 5

1 Medley : I’ll Take Romance/My Funny Valentine (Oakland, Hammerstein)  6:12
2 Like Someone In Love (Rodgers, Hart)  5:15
3 Falling In Love With Love (Burke, VanHeusen)  4:20
4 The Best Thing For You (Berlin)  4:35
5 April in Paris (Harburg, Duke)  6:15
6 The Second Time Around (VanHeusen, Cahn)  4:13
7 We Live In Two Different Worlds (Rose)  5:08
8 Night Mist Blues (Jamal)  7:05
9 Darn That Dream (DeLange, VanHeusen)   4:33
10 On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper, Washington)  4:03
11 Poinciana  (Simon, Bernier)  4:34
[1955 Studio Version]
12 Pavanne  (Gould)  4:27
[1955 Studio Version]
 13 All Of You  (Porter)  3:19
[1955 Studio Version]
14 Darn That Dream  (DeLange, VanHeusen)  3:14
[1955 Studio Version]
15 Ahmad’s Blues  (Jamal)  2:54
[1952 Studio Version]
16 A Gal In Calico  (Schwartz, Robin)  2:34
17 Aki And Ukthay (Brother And Sister)  (Jamal)  3:05
[1952 Studio Version]
18 Billy Boy  (trad. arr. Jamal)  2:41
[1952 Studio Version]


Ahmad Jamal - p
Israel Crosby - b
Vernel Fournier - dr
Ahmad Jamal - p
Ray Crawford - g [Cd. 4, # 14 & Cd. 5, # 11-14]
Israel Crosby - b
Eddie Calhoun - b [Cd. 5, # 15-18] 

Recorded at the Pershing Lounge, Chicago ; January 16-17, 1958 [Cd. 1, # 1-19] ; in Chicago ; June 30, 1958 [Cd. 1, # 20-22] ; at the Spotlight Club, Washington ; September 5-6, 1958 [Cd. 2 & Cd. 3, # 1-5] ; in Chicago, January 20-21, 1960 [Cd. 3, # 6-15] ; at Ahmad Jamal’s Alhambra, Chicago ; ca. June 22, 1961 [Cd. 3, # 16-20 ; & Cd. 4, # 1-13] ; at The Blackhawk, San Francisco, January 31 & February 1, 1962 [Cd. 5, # 1-10] ; BONUS TRACKS : New York ; October 25, 1955 [Cd. 4, # 14 & Cd. 5, # 11-12] ; in Chicago ; May 23, 1955 [Cd. 5, # 13-14] ; & Chicago ; May 5, 1952 [Cd. 5, # 15-18].
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.

Source : http://www.jazzmessengers.com/en/17144/ahmad-jamal/the-classic-1958-62-recordings


marcusr said...

Thank You very very much! Young Jamal are excellent jazzmen.

Chris said...

Thanks Mel a great selection of early Ahmad Jamal Trio. I have most on LP but good to have some digital versions.

Adrian said...

Wonderful collection of outstanding originals!
Thanks a lot.

John Pickworth said...

Excellent !

xxx said...

Thank You! Melanchthon.

Albertito Jazz said...

Thanks for all, Melanchthon!

Val said...

Merci Mel !

dd said...

Love This. Thanks to You!

AmyBRAINS said...

A fantastic monument to Ahmad Jamal.
A great post!!
Many, many thanks, Melanchthon.

ZM-JazzRock said...

Thank you Mel...!

rowland said...

A great post.
Thank you very much.
Great site..

pedro gamundi said...


fcapeau said...

That's part of Jazz (Piano) History !! A big thank you, Mel.

The Jackal said...

Dear Mel,

Thanks for this Piano landmark can't wait

zorro said...

Thank you.

OT: I have 2 albuns (mp3) from SuperSax ("Bird" and "The Joy Of Sax").
They are very difficult to find and I couldn't find anything from SuperSax for sale except some very expensive LP's.
I would like to send them to you. Please leave me a note.

mARCELO Beats ruz said...


Patrick S. said...

second link might be down

Prof said...

Links appear to be down. Can you please re-up? Thanks!

Melanchthon said...

Cd. 1
Cd. 2
Cd. 3
Cd. 4
Cd. 5

musician3 said...

EXCELLENT.....................THANK YOU FOR ALL

deGallo said...

Marvelous! Thank you.

dantzig65 said...

Too marvelous for words.

Rodney said...

Thank you, Mel

Mike said...

Not a big Jamal fan, but I do welcome this opportunity to further explore his music. Thanks a lot!

bho wani said...

Useful to get all gathered ! Thank you, Mel !

kristophermc28 said...

Wow, thanks Mel!
I've yet to dig into his stuff, so this will be a great start for me.

ProfessorCalculus said...

I am half way through with this, and many many thanks.

vinyljungler said...

password ?

Big Sun said...

Looks like i missed out on all of these. Any chance of a re-up!? Thanks for evertthing!