Someone at the prestigious Verve jazz record company had an idea last summer: to re-release a compilation of recordings by legend jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal’s trio at the clubs of Chicago in 1958, it was a very good idea!
Ahmad’s Blues is a must have for Ahmad Jamal fans and all Jazz fans for that matter. Throughout his long and storied career, Ahmad has demonstrated both technical virtuosity and amazing style and creativity, this early live recording is no exception. With a title track that practically defines cool jazz and a sound that throbs with authenticity this record stacks right up there with Miles Davis' Kind of Blue as one of the best recordings of that period.
The record, in which he was accompanied by bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernell Fournier, also contains renditions of some of jazz’s all time favorite standard pieces such as Autumn Leaves, Cheek to Cheek and That’s All, but all with Jamal and his trio’s post bebop ultra cool style which was an influence even to Miles Davis, the king of cool himself.
This disc oozes with quality, not to undermine Ahmad Jamal’s numerous later outings ‘ he is still playing till today at the age of 74, yet this compilation catches him at a time when this type of music was flying over peaks, and it shows that he was up there with the highest of eagles. Ahmad Jamal is probably one of the very few true jazz legends still around until these days, I truly hope his, and his counterpart’s legacies will stand the test of time forever.