Ahmad Jamal

Jamal-Argo-SessionsAhmad Jamal (born 1930) was one of the important jazz pianists and trio leaders of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA this “underexposed” musician had a unique approach to improvisation, form, and leading a jazz trio. He was one of the most iconic figures of the last 60 years. His use of space and silence, tension and release, and dynamics were as unique as was the manner in which he utilized his trio in “orchestral” terms.

Ahmad Jamal - Episode 1

This podcast will highlight some of the important figures that influenced Ahmad’s approach to jazz including Art Tatum, Errol Garner, and Nat Cole. Included is one selection from his important 1955 recording, Chamber Music of the New Jazz featuring Ray Crosby on guitar and Israel Crosby on bass, and one from his famous Live at the Spotlight session.
Art TatumFlying HomeLive 1953-19551954
Errol GarnerLaura (Solo Piano)Rosetta Volume 21945
Nat ColeLester Leaps InJ.A.T.P. - The First Concert1944
Count BasieBasie's BoogieLive in Switzerland1959
Ahamad JamalNew RhumbaChambers of the New Jazz1955
Ahmad JamalAutumn LeavesLive at the Spotlight Club1958

Ahmad Jamal - Episode 2

In the mid 1950’s through the early 1960’s Ahmad Jamal had one of the most unique and innovative trios on the jazz scene. The trio in 1955 featured piano, bass and guitar—soon the guitarist would be replaced by number of different drummers until he hired drummer Vernell Fournier from New Orleans. Ahmad’s greatest recordings from this period were all recorded live during long-standing playing engagements in Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other major cities. This podcast will feature some of the most important recordings that illustrate the group’s unique approach to arrangement, the use of silence and space, group interplay, dynamics, and the variety of textures he was able to achieve.
Ahmad JamalPoincianaLive at the Pershing Lounge1955
Ahmad JamalDarn That DreamLive at the Blackhawk1962
Ahmad JamalLet's Fall in LoveLive at the Spotlight1958
Ahmad JamalBut Not for MeLIve at the Pershing Lounge1958

Ahmad Jamal - Episode 3

The relationship between Ahmad Jamal, Miles Davis, and Gil Evans is well documented in recordings, print, and interviews. Miles often remarked on how much he admired the Ahmad Jamal Trio and Ahmad’s economy and use of space. On this podcast I will examine the musical relationship between some of Jamal’s important recordings and the subsequent recordings by Miles Davis, and the Gil Evans and Miles Davis famous collaboration, Miles Ahead (Miles +19).
Ahmad JamalA Gal in CalicoLive at the Spotlight Club1958
Ahmad JamalAhmad’s BluesLive at the Spotlight Club1958
Miles DavisAhmad’s BluesWorking With the Miles Davis Quintet1956
Ahmad JamalAutumn LeavesLive at the Spotlight Club1958
Cannonball AdderleyAutumn LeavesSomethin’ Else1958
AhmadNew RhumbaChamber Music of the New Jazz1955
Miles DavisNew RhumbaMiles Ahead (Miles +19)1957
Ahmad JamalI Don’t Wanna Be KissedChamber Music of the New Jazz1955
Miles DavisI Don’t Wanna Be KissedMiles Ahead (Miles +19)1957
Ahmad JamalOn Green Dolphin StreetCount’em 881956
Miles DavisOn Green Dolphin StreetThe ‘58 Sessions1958
Ahmad JamalPavanneLive at the Spotlight Club1958
John ColtraneImpressionsImpressions: The John Coltrane Group1961
Ahmad JamalSurrey with the Fringe on TopLive at the Pershing Lounge1958