May 22, 2024

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CD review: Ahmad Jamal Trio – Live In Paris – 1971 – 2024: Video, CD cover

20 years after his 1951 album ‘Poinciana’ which featured ‘Ahmad’s Blues’; a track covered by Miles Davis on his 1959 album ‘Workin‘, pianist Ahmed Jamal came together with long-standing musicians Frank Gant (drums) and Jamil Nasser (bass) for this memorable performance in Paris.

Recorded yet never released, this first-time official vinyl issue of ‘Live In Paris 1971’ features three compositions spread over 40 minutes, mastered from the original master tapes with exclusive pictures and extensive liner notes.

As well as piano, Ahmad Jamal plays Fender Rhodes, added to great effect on the opening track ‘Bogota’, a track featured on his highly esteemed ‘Macanuda’ album from 1963, produced by the great Richard Evans. It’s a standout track from this album ebbing and flowing with waves of energy unfolding after sustained build-ups, shifting tempos and receding lines adding interest and a sense of the connection between the performers and audience. With a lightness of touch and an understated approach, Ahmad Jamal’s exceptional use of the artistic device of tension and release creates a buoyancy and spark that gives the trio sound an extra dimension and energy. Ahmad Jamal is renowned as being one of the great innovators of his time with a great understanding of the concept of space, adding the right amount of notes at the right time, never more than needed.

Recorded in the same year as his ‘Freeflight’ album on which both Frank Gant and Jamil Nasser also played, this superb live date by Ahmad Jamal features a great cover of McCoy Tyner’s ‘Effendi’; a track memorably vocalised by Mark Murphy on his 1987 album ‘Beauty & The Beast’. It’s a fitting last track of the performance, full of strong lines, airing the Turkish motifs with a superb solo by drummer Frank Gant. A dynamic small group album with Ahmad Jamal, Frank Gant and Jamil Nasser in sync and clearly enjoying the rapport with the audience and one well worth checking out.

  1. Bogota
  2. Manhattan Reflections
  3. Effendi

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