Ahmad Jamal: Back to the Island
Back to the Island
Ahmad Jamal (piano)
It's Magic (Dreyfus Records)
James Cammak (bass), Manolo Badrena (percussion).
Composed by Ahmad Jamal.
Recorded: Strasbourg, France, November 25 – 28, 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
If you like vintage Ahmad Jamal, you will not be disappointed by this track from his 2008 CD It's Magic. Here are all Jamal's signature moves: roller coaster changes in dynamics, kick-in-the-pants vamps, more space than a foreclosed McMansion. Through it all, the pianist tosses out incisive phrases, booming two-handed chords and passing flurries of notes. Of course, Jamal knows that he has his own traditions to uphold. At one point he interpolates a quick reference to "Poinciana," and at another juncture he goes even further back in the past with a nod to "Hot House." But this not a dry history lesson. The whole performance is infused with an attractive Caribbean flavor. Jamal with jerk sauce . . . very spicy!
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
If you liked this track, also check out
Ahmad Jamal’s ‘Poinciana’ Turns 50 Today by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Ahmad Jamal Performances by Eric Reed