Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Ahmad Jamal "At The Top: Poinciana Revisited"
The first time I heard Ahmad Jamal I didn’t know I was listening to him. Thanks to the Soul Brother Pete Rock I was first privy to the sounds comin’ from Jamal’s piano thanks to “The World is Yours” from Nas’ first classic, Illmatic.
As I learned about samples and started diggin in the crates I began to see this piano player pop up regularly. They were cheap and I copped one. It was cool, nothin’ spectacular, no Pete Rock sample, but I new I would find it one day!
In that time I have since picked up a few more Jamal LP’s (five to be exact) and the one thing to know about this man is when he is on, it’s some of the best Jazz one could listen to! At The Top: Poinciana Revisited is a perfect demonstration of why he deserves more respect and listening time from music fans all over the world.
What has always inspired me in Jazz is the musician’s use of his instrument in combination with silence. The piano is one of the best ways to express this. Jamal will play and play and then disappear for a moment, the drums might still be settin’ the groove, or the bassist may be layin’ down a funky little retort for whatever Jamal just hit you with, but always at just the right moment he will let your mind do the playing and let the music sink in that much more.
At The Top: Poinciana Revisited comes from Impulse in 1969 and like so many of their releases around this time, it’s not one to be missed. It may not hold that classic PR sample (guess I’ll just have to grab up some more of his joints!) but it does have plenty of elements for new producers to mine and if I’m not mistaken at least a couple that already have been. If Jazz has never been your thing and you’re sitting around looking for some music to relax to, check this!
Let me know what y’all think, like I said I have more records by him and would be happy to add so more to the site if people are feeling his work.