Ahmad Jamal: Pavanne
Ahmad Jamal Trio
Poinciana (CBS Portrait RK 44394)
Composed by Morton Gould.
Recorded: New York, October 25, 1955
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Listen to the passage right before the two minute mark on this track, and hear where Coltrane got his concept for "Impressions." But Coltrane's former employer Miles Davis had already borrowed heavily from Ahmad Jamal long before then, and any discussion of the precursors of Davis's modal style needs to take this spirited 1955 performance into account. Yet, as always, Jamal stands out for how he plays rather than what he plays. No one had a lighter, sweeter sense of swing than this artist, and I would even wager on him over the MJQ in a contest to see who could bring down the dynamics the most without losing the rhythmic drive. Yes, you can cook while keeping things at a whisper, but it took Mr. Jamal to show us how.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia