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Which Ahmad Jamal album to get next? (and where?)


Kayvon

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I wonder if anyone could help me, I currently own The Awakening by Ahmad Jamal which is one of my favourite albums & I'm looking to get another Jamal album in the same vein but i'm unsure which one to go for. Has anyone heard his other late 60's/early 70's stuff and could reccommend a (preferably) studio album?

 

Just looking at his discography on Wikipedia, am I aiming for something else on Impulse? Maybe I should buy either side of the awakening? I also have Encore (I have it as a double album with McCoy Tyner) which was recorded later on (maybe late 80's/90's) and Live at the Pershing: but not for me. Both are good but The Awakening, to me, is so brilliant that I'd love more in the same vein.

 

The other b*gger is that his 70's albums don't seem to have been re-released so they appear pretty hard to get hold of.

 

Anyone with any info or who just wants to chat about Ahmad Jamal please feel free to post.

 

Cheers.

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Love Jamal, my fav around the time of Awakening is one called

outertimeinnerspaceA live album by the trio was recorded June 17, 1971 at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, personnel is Jamil Sulieman on bass and Frank Gant on drums, the LP features two side-long tracks, the album was released on ABC/Impulse Records. killer fender rhodes on one side. http://lh6.google.com/MyJazzWorld/R0mFW8iRy5I/AAAAAAAABLE/_Kned-3W2J4/s288/AhmadJamal_Outertimeinnersp.jpg

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench; a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. ............ There's also a negative side"

 

 

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Yikes, that's a tough call, as so much of his stuff is out of print. His late 60's and early 70's stuff crossed over a bit into Soul, as did many jazz artists at the time. The majority of that stuff is hard to find these days.

 

Jamal returned to traditional trio-based jazz around the late 70's or early 80's, as I recall. His bassist used to date one of my best musician friends in Boston (she's still friends with him, and they've recorded together a couple of times so I've actually spent some time with him and getting to know him as well as the inside story on Ahmad Jamal's touring :-)).

 

It's amazing at his age that he tours so much of the year. Go to his website and there's hardly a free night of the year! And he's been working more or less consistently with the same players for a couple of decades, just like the Keith Jarrett Trio. Trios seem easier to keep stable than larger groupings.

 

My sisters inherited the rare vinyl, including the period you're most interested in, when I moved to the west coast. But "The Awakening" is before he started doing the crossover stuff, so you might also like his other late 60's stuff, much of which was on MCA/Impulse and shared the same producer as Keith Jarrett.

 

Freeflight was recorded at Newport Jazz Festival in 1972 and is on MCA/Impulse. It includes the songs he is best known for.

 

The current era has been similar to that earlier era, and began in 1986 when he signed with Atlantic Jazz (with a brief departure for Verve in the mid-90's).

 

This era of returning to traditional acoustic jazz started with 1986's Rossiter Road (the one where my friend James Cammack makes his debut as the bassist). All but one is an original composition so you might be especially interested in that one.

 

This is followed by another mostly-originals album in 1987 called "Crystal", and then an interesting orchestral accompaniment in 1989 on "Pittsburgh".

 

The Verve albums are a mixture of originals and covers. The ones I have and know about are Live in Paris '92, The Essence Pt 1 (never found Pt 2) from 1995, and Big Byrd from 1996. of these, The Essence strikes me as being the most full of passion.

 

Back to Atlantic in 1998 for Nature, which is the last I know of since I stopped buying non-classical CD's in 1999 when I got too busy making music to listen to it (in recorded form vs. live classical concerts, at least). I'm pretty sure James is still playing bass with him.

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He's a fine musician and a dramatic live performer. My favorite recordings are from the 50s and the 90s/2000s though. Of his newer recordings, I guess I would recommend In Search of Momentum.
"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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Yeah, my mom was in the audience at that famous 50's live recording, which for many years remained the only Jamal recording consistently in print.

 

It was through my parents that I discovered Jamal, because he was cast out in the wilderness, like a lot of jazz greats, during my early formative years. I loved those old 50's records.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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"The Awakening" is also my favourite. After that "Nature: the Essence part 3" gets alot of rotation as does "In Search of". "Live at Oil Can Harry's" is from the same period as "The Awakening" and can be had from cduniverse.com

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Thanks for clearing that up: I didn't notice that "Nature" is "Part Three" of "Essence", so I'm probably missing fewer of his works than I thought. :-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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