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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Piano Trio

Read "Piano Trio" reviewed by AAJ Staff

When one talks about “jazz piano music," it is almost taken for granted they are talking about jazz piano trio music. The trio is and has been most jazz pianists' favorite format, and with good reason: the jazz piano trio has been said at times to represent the essence of jazz in the most condensed yet effective way possible. A piano trio takes full advantage of swing, interaction, and dynamics. There have certainly been outstanding jazz piano trios ...


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