Ahmad Jamal: Poinciana (1958)




Ahmad Jamal Trio


Cross Country Tour: 1958-1961 (Chess GRD2-813)

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Ahmad Jamal (piano), Israel Crosby (bass), Vernel Fournier (drums).

Recorded: Chicago, January 16, 1958


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Written by Nat Simon and Buddy Bernier, “Poinciana” ranks among the loveliest upbeat numbers in the jazz canon. Pianist Ahmad Jamal popularized it, and it is perfect for Jamal’s spare, pensive style. It appears midway through the first disc of the two-CD set “Cross Country Tour,” but it actually closed his first set at the Pershing Lounge in Chicago and surely sent the crowd floating out of the room. All three musicians give the tune plenty of bounce and plenty of space. Vernel Fournier barely taps the drums, and Israel Crosby skips down the neck of the bass like a child running home from school. Jamal, for his part, gently massages the keys, drawing prettiness out. Just when you think he’s going to conclude a thought, he doesn’t, and his reticence makes it all the lovelier.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

If you liked this track, also check out

Ahmad Jamal: But Not For Me
Ahmad Jamal: The Surrey With the Fringe on Top
Keith Jarrett: Poinciana

Related Links

Ahmad Jamal’s ‘Poinciana’ Turns 50 Today by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Ahmad Jamal Performances by Eric Reed

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