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  • Ahmad Jamal

    One of the most influential pianists of post-war jazz, Ahmad Jamal broke new ground with his minimalist piano trio in the ‘50s and has been one of the of the few jazz musicians to achieve commercial success. Discovered by John Hammond in 1951, his first trio – a guitar/bass/piano ensemble – recorded the groundbreaking Chamber Music of New Jazz in 1955, an album which exemplified Jamal’s chamber-like arranging sensibility and made an impact on both Miles Davis and his arranger Gil Evans. Shortly after, Jamal replaced his percussive guitarist with a drummer and this new lineup became the house band at the Pershing Hotel in Chicago. Their gigs were frequented by local jazz musicians and produced the classic 1958 live album But Not for Me. A crossover success, the album reached number three on the pop charts, and its hit version of “Poinciana” remains Jamal’s signature tune. Jamal has recorded many great albums over the past five decades and his listening to his charismatic swing, inventive solos, and dramatic manipulations of space, tension, and dynamics on vinyl is delightful.

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