1 February 2018

Pete Recommends…Ahmad Jamal – Poinciana

Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.


Ahmad Jamal



    In the early 1960s I decided to listen to much more Miles. To start I went in search of his recordings from the early 1950s. This was a difficult time for him: he was struggling with personal problems and was looking for a way forward from the achievement of the Birth of the Cool recordings. He formed a strong friendship with drummer Philly Joe Jones and began to work with pianist Red Garland. The first result was a series of quartet recordings for Prestige. While trying to copy a few simple licks from a version of A Girl in Calico I began to wonder why Miles chose this tune. You will learn the answer from this very collectable CD.

    Miles had discovered Ahmad and was influenced in his own performance, his conception of the small group, and his rhythmic ideas. He recorded a number of the tunes included in this CD. Miles was not alone. Several musicians, and not just pianists, were inspired by the rich textures and the sheer imagination of these complex trio performances. If these recordings are new to you I think you will find, as Miles did, a treasure trove of musical inspiration.


[ Ahmad Jamal “Poinciana” is on Portrait Masters CD RK 44394 }

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