Ahmad Jamal: Autumn Leaves
Ahmad Jamal (piano)
Portfolio of Ahmad Jamal (Chess CHD31266 )
Composed by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prévert.
Recorded: Washington, D.C., September 5-6, 1958
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
It takes a special kind of artist to be able to take hackneyed songs and make them his own, but in fact, that’s what Ahmad Jamal does. He takes the chords and the melody—then deconstructs and interjects all his own ideas. I tried to play this arrangement with a bunch of different guys, and it never really came off. Obviously, I didn’t have Israel and Vernel, but part of the problem is that so many bassists and drummers in particular, who claim to be so into the Ahmad Jamal Trio, miss the very subtle elements that make the arrangement work. The fact is, most cats get bored playing arrangements. But Ahmad knew that arrangements were the way to go, at least for his conception, because it kept the audience drawn in to what he was doing.
Reviewer: Eric Reed