Ahmad Jamal’s Chamber Music of the New Jazz

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Ahmad Jamal’s Chamber Music of the New Jazz is a must-have for any jazz fan. This album features some of the best chamber music performances by Ahmad Jamal and his quintet. If you’re a fan of Ahmad Jamal, or just a fan of great jazz music, then you need to check out this album.

Ahmad Jamal and His Music

Ahmad Jamal is a jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator. He has been praised as one of the most innovative and influential jazz pianists of his generation. Jamal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and began playing piano at the age of three. He toured with George Benson and Miles Davis, and released his debut album, Chamber Music of the New Jazz, in 1958.

Who is Ahmad Jamal?

Ahmad Jamal is a jazz pianist, composer and bandleader who is widely considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century. He is best known for his work in small group settings and his innovative use of space and timing in his playing.

Jamal began his career in the early 1940s, playing in clubs and bars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He soon attracted the attention of record producer John Hammond, who signed him to a contract with Mercury Records. His first release for the label, “But Not For Me”, was a commercial success and helped to launch his career.

Over the next few years, Jamal toured extensively with his own trio and recorded several more albums for Mercury. In 1955, he made his breakthrough with the release of “Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing: But Not For Me”, which featured his now-famous version of “Poinciana”. The album was a huge commercial and critical success, and established Jamal as one of the leading voices in jazz.

Since then, Jamal has continued to release new recordings sporadically, while also performing live all over the world. His most recent album, “The Awakening”, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim.

What is Chamber Music of the New Jazz?

Chamber Music of the New Jazz is an album by American jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal featuring performances recorded in 1958 and released on the Argo label.

The Making of Chamber Music of the New Jazz

Chamber Music of the New Jazz is an album by American jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, originally released in 1958 on Argo Records. The album was recorded at the Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey, and features Jamal’s piano trio with Cyrus Chestnut on bass and Idris Muhammad on drums.

The Recording Process

In the early morning hours of June 6, 1962, jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal and his band mates arrived at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to begin work on their next album. Engineers Rudy Van Gelder and Bob Arnold had set up two pianos in the large studio, placing them side by side so that Jamal and his guitarist Ray Crawford could face each other while they played. The rest of the band – bassist Israel Crosby, drummer Vernell Fournier, and percussionist James Mrkeyhand – was positioned around the pianos.

For the next five hours, the group recorded takes of five Ahmad Jamal compositions, including “Wave,” “Autumn in New York,” “Poinciana,” and “Night in Tunisia.” In between takes, Van Gelder and Arnold made adjustments to the sound of the room, moving microphones closer or further away from the instruments. By lunchtime, they had captured some magic.

The result was Chamber Music of the New Jazz, an album that found Jamal leading his trio through a set of standards and originals with elegance and grace. The record would go on to be hailed as one of the great jazz piano trio albums of all time, and its title track would become one of Jamal’s most enduring compositions.

The Music

The Chamber Music of the New Jazz is a jazz album recorded by American jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal in 1956. It is one of Jamal’s best-known albums and is considered a classic of 1950s jazz.

The album was recorded at Bradley’s Barn, a studio in New York City. It features Jamal’s trio, which at the time consisted of drummer Vernell Fournier and bassist Israel Crosby. The trio was augmented on four tracks by members of the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra: trumpeter Clark Terry, alto saxophonist Billy Mitchell, and trombonist Melba Liston.

The album is notable for its use of space and melody, as well as for its extended improvisations. Jamal’s use of space would influence a generation of pianists that included Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, and Chick Corea. The album’s title track, “Chamber Music”, is a reworking of Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” that features an extended solo piano introduction and improvised interludes between the vocal phrases.

“Poinciana” and “But Not for Me” are two standards that are given new interpretations on the album. “Poinciana” is played at a slow tempo with lush chords while “But Not for Me” is played at a fast tempo with an emphasis on melody.

The Chamber Music of the New Jazz was originally released on LP by Okeh Records in 1956. It was reissued on CD by Epic Records in 1993.

The Legacy of Chamber Music of the New Jazz

Ahmad Jamal is a jazz pianist who is most well-known for his composition Chamber Music of the New Jazz. This composition was released in 1958 and is Jamal’s most successful work. It is a three-part work that was inspired by the bebop style of jazz.

Critical Reception

Ahmad Jamal’s Chamber Music of the New Jazz was released to critical acclaim. Allmusic’s Matt Collar praised the album, describing it as “a gorgeously realized set of free-flowing, impressionistic chamber music.” Collar went on to say that the album “finds Jamal and his trio… at their collective best, mining a rich vein of often-reconsidered jazz tradition and infusing it with their own inimitable magic.”

JazzTimes’ Jeb Wright was similarly impressed, writing that the album “might be the most important jazz piano recording since Bill Evans’ Moon Beams.” Wright went on to laud Jamal’s “uncanny ability to evoke a mood or place without explicitly stating it.”

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music described the album as “a set of ebullient, highly melodic pieces which sometimes suggest Thelonious Monk gone Latin.” The review went on to say that Jamal and his trio “create an infectious brand of chamber jazz which seduces the listener with its gentle rhythms and delicate melodies.”

Influence on Later Jazz Recordings

Jamal’s album Chamber Music of the New Jazz was a significant force in the shaping of jazz chamber music styles that were to come. The album was recorded in 1963 and featured Jamal on piano, Israel Crosby on bass, and Vernel Fournier on drums. The music on the album is based on Jamal’s original compositions, which are steeped in the bebop tradition of jazz. However, the instrumentation and arrangement of the tunes on the album are distinctly different from anything that had been heard before in jazz.

The use of piano, bass, and drums as the core instruments on Chamber Music of the New Jazz was a departure from the standard combo format of most jazz recordings up to that point. The tunes on the album are also arranged differently than traditional jazz tunes. Rather than being based around solos, Jamal’s compositions are built around piano/bass interplay and close ensemble work. This approach would later be adopted by other chamber jazz groups such as Thelonious Monk’s trio with Steve Lacy and masada.

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