Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Radio & Podcasts

Ellington Today - Always Hip

Read "Ellington Today - Always Hip" reviewed by Russell Perry


Every year dozens of top-flight musicians cover tunes from the biggest book in jazz--the Duke Ellington Songbook--with some 1,100 entries. In this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!, we'll listen to a few of the diverse responses to this body of work ranging from pianists Frank Kimbrough, Ahmad Jamal, Fred Hersch and Norah Jones to guitarists Dave Stryker and Mary Halverson, and trumpeter Terell Stafford. Playlist Host Intro 0:00 Frank Kimbrough Trio “Single Petal of a Rose" from ...

2

Album Review

Ahmad Jamal: Ballades

Read "Ballades" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


None other than Miles Davis cited Ahmad Jamal (born 1930) as a stylistic influence. So, as he was approaching his ninetieth birthday, what did this vibrant upstart do to further shake things up? He released his first ever solo album which isn't really a solo album because on three of the exemplarily graceful tracks on Ballades, Jamal duets with his longtime bassist James Cammack. That is what he did. And what we're going to do is sit back ...

10

Album Review

Ahmad Jamal: Trio & Quintet Recordings With Ray Crawford

Read "Trio & Quintet Recordings With Ray Crawford" reviewed by Chris May


This 2xCD reissue comprises three of Ahmad Jamal's early and mid 1950s trio albums plus a fourth recorded in 1960 with a quintet. Between times, Jamal had released the totemic trio set At The Pershing (Argo, 1958), which included the break-out single “Poinciana" (his first, equally lovely, 1955 recording of Nat Simon and Buddy Bernier's tune is included here). Jamal divided opinion in the 1950s. Some critics wrote him off as “just" a cocktail pianist whose touch ...

11

Album Review

Ahmad Jamal: Ballades

Read "Ballades" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


At 89, Ahmad Jamal remains a master of space, time, openness and poetics. Never one to add too much, yet always one to mine a song for all its rich natural flavors, Jamal is an artist whose work speaks with a direct and engaging sweep. His early trio classics became a model of sorts, inspiring Miles Davis and many others, and his latter day, percussion-laced combo dates carry elegance and some swagger in their DNA. Now, showing us that he ...

9

Live Review

Jazz In Marciac 2019

Read "Jazz In Marciac 2019" reviewed by Martin McFie


Jazz In Marciac Marciac, France July 30, 2019 to August 4, 2019 How does a remote village in South West France end up hosting an international jazz festival for 42 years? The logistics come later, but the answers to most questions about Jazz in Marciac lie in the superb quality of the music. The first four days were each blockbuster performances. First Sting—My Songs, then came Gregory Porter's Nat King Cole and ...

12

Album Review

Ahmad Jamal: Marseille

Read "Marseille" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Four years between studio albums is a long gap by Ahmad Jamal's standards. Not that the 87-year-old pianist has been idle since the widely acclaimed Saturday Morning (Jazz Village, 2013). He's released two live albums in that time--Live at The Olympia (Jazz Village, 2014) featuring Yusef Lateef and Live in Marciac 2014 (Jazz Village, 2015)--and remains a major draw on the world's most prestigious jazz stages. Though Marseille bears many of Jamal's hallmarks--old songs reworked, standards, a ballad--the pianist still ...

16

Album Review

Ahmad Jamal: Marseille

Read "Marseille" reviewed by Roger Farbey


There are few true jazz legends left alive now let alone still recording albums of the calibre of Marseille. Ahmad Jamal is one such venerable figure and the octogenarian (born July 2, 1930) has recorded an album of consistent brilliance. Jamal prefers to refer to his playing as American classical music rather than jazz and he's been regarded as a “mainstream" pianist but to stylistically stereotype him in this fashion is to do him an injustice. The title ...


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