Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
A unique take on the piano trio
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 11/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got into Jamal backwards, starting from his recent discs with the James Cammack/Idris Muhammad trio & working backwords. This one's from 1970, & already shows Jamal moving towards the maximalist style of his recent work. He's a "thematic" improvisor in a way that's not really in the mainstream of jazz, where improvisation tends to focus on developing new melodies out of the basic chords of a tune. Jamal's in the company of Thelonious Monk & Art Tatum in that he often simply plays the tune over & over, with the interest coming in the differences of decoration, emphasis, harmony, mood & tempo. These can be quite striking: witness for example the way that he stretches out "You're My Everything" here, & then when he launches into the solo he gives it a sour twist with some altered, minor-key chords. He's an underrated composer (here, two tunes, both of them the liveliest, funkiest moments on the album: "The Awakening" and "Patterns"); & he always picks interesting repertoire: Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" is given one of the few readings worthy of the original recording (I love Jamal's opening chorus, which is all dark bar-long chords), Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance", Emil Boyd's "I Love Music" (which is virtually a solo piece, with the bassist & drummer coming in just at the end; this is the only version of the tune I've heard outside of Joe Lovano's several recordings of it, & I think Jamal does a better job); Jobim's "Wave", not an obscure tune by any means but not one of the Jobim tunes that's been done to death either: Jamal gives it a dark 1970s funk intro with a little Baroque twist at one point. Above all, I like how Jamal (one of the first players to explore modal jazz) responds to the music of younger, modally-inclined musicians like Hancock & Tyner, & works it all back into his own idiosyncratic style. An excellent disc, one of my favourite of recent Impulse reissues. -- Now I just wish the other record companies would get around to reissuing Jamal's early stuff properly, rather than truncating the original releases of his 1950s work to squeeze it to CD-length......"