…the music is lovingly reproduced and handsomely packaged with a extensive booklet with comments on the music by Jamal himself…

Jazz Detective DDJD-006

Ahmad Jamal (piano); Jamil Nasser (bass); Frank Gant (drums)

Recorded September 29, 1966, August 24 & 31, 1967 & April 26, 1968

The final part of the Trilogy that began with Live at the Penthouse 1963-1964 or is there more to come? Who knows, but what is important is this exceptional music has been available thanks to the dedication of producer Zev Feldman.

Feldman has been unearthing some real gems of late, and the live recordings by Ahmad Jamal are real treasures. Bassist, Jamil Nasser has been the rhythmic foundation of the trio since 1964, and his understanding of Jamal’s methods and what is required of him by the time of these performances has developed into a deep and meaningful musical relationship.

Musically all the tracks are of an incredibly high standard as one would expect, and with the trio having stable personnel is always of benefit. Drummer Frank Gant is a most assured if unspectacular drummer, and that in this instance is just what is required. That is not to say that he does not have anything inventive to say, but more that he is aware of his role in the music.

Often the dialogue to be found is between Jamal and Nasser and the drummer keeps things ticking over nicely. Most importantly he is aware of the pianist’s use of space and when to fill it, if at all.

The repertoire is standard fare for the pianist, and he will have played them countless times. What is astonishing and a delight in hearing Jamal play them is that he always appears to take delight in them himself and finding something new to say.

There is a tremendous reading of Jobim’s ‘Corcovado’ and an extended investigation of ‘Misty’ by Errol Garner that would be enough to keep most of us happy, but of course this is a two CD set and there is much more to enjoy.

Jamal teases us with an all to brief solo piano rendition of ‘Emily’ before moving on to Burt Bacharach’s ‘Alfie’ that gets right inside the tune. A driving version of Henry Mancini’s ‘Mr Lucky’ is another superb performance with an excelent solo for Jamil Nasser.

Once again, the music is lovingly reproduced and handsomely packaged with a extensive booklet with comments on the music by Jamal himself, as well as thoughts from Marshall Chess who would run the labels Chess Records and Argo, as well as Les McCann and Monty Alexander.

All in all, another most desirable album from the Jazz Detective