Three grandiose recordings of the jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal – culture


Andrian Kreye

Why not go straight into the big historical arc, this season there are at least three albums from the archives of pianist Ahmad Jamal, which show how he laid the foundations of hip-hop back in the early 1960s. And then why not go overboard a little, because Jamal repositioned quite a few other things in these recordings from 1963-1970. The extension of the piano to an orchestra-like sound panorama, for example. Freeing his two hands from the traditional division of tasks between chord (left) and solo (right). Or the departure from the ornamentation of the be-bop giants, which often left so little space that ballads were crushed by the weight of exuberance. This may all be self-evident today and sound quite normal. It was a revolution then.

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