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Friday, 5 August 2011

Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing - "But Not For Me"

2 copies, different versions:

(London Records LTZ-M 15162 (monaural) (UK), 1958 (originally released in 1958 on Argo Records (USA)) 

(Cadet LPS 628 (stereo), USA, 1966) 
NOTE: The cover of this album states: "Electronically Re-recorded to simulate STEREO", while the record label states: STEREO. (originally released in 1958 on Argo Records USA)

Ahmad Jamal managed to break through to a wider audience than most jazz artists.  This is one of his best recordings, and featured his long-time trio members Israel Crosby on bass, and Vernell Fournier on drums.  A 'live' recording, this album captures the trio at the Pershing Lounge in Chicago, home to Chess Records, which is the parent company to Argo and Cadet Records, labels on which most of his albums were released.  This album is given a four star rating in "The Virgin Encyclopedia Of Jazz" Ahmad Jamal listing.  Jamal garnered public recognition when  Miles Davis cited him as a prime influence on his own work, mainly for his interesting rhythmic concepts, and also choice of repertoire, Miles even recording several of the pieces included in this album, such as "Surrey With The Fringe On Top" (Rodgers & Hammerstein) albeitMiles played at a much slower tempo than that heard here.  Other tunes from this album also played by Miles include "Woody 'n' You (Dizzy Gillespie), and "No Greater Love" (Jones - Symes).  Rounding out the selection are: "But Not For Me" (George Gershwin), "Moonlight In Vermont" (Suessdorf - Blackburn), "Music, Music, Music" (Weiss - Baum), thisTeresa Brewer hit seems a strange choice, but it's one of the most successful tracks here, the wonderful "Poinciana" Simon - Bernier), and Bob Haggart and Johnny Burke's "What's New".  Ahmad Jamal, presently 81 years young, is still active.