By Edgar Roman
On their 16th release of their 2.0 “Lab Off Session,” The Jazz Jousters collective plays with American jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal’s “Lovely & Sweet” off his ‘live-album’ Alhambra released via Argo Records in 1961 that featured performances recorded at Jamal’s own club. Lovely and Sweet features production from some of brightest and exclusive music minds of today; Es-K, DJ Mentos, Gadget, Bones The Beat Head, RickMal, B3NBi, Skinnista, Blue Buttonz, Erik Jackson, Mr. Moods, Jaze Baqti, The Specialists, and FloFilz.
On Stanley Crouch’s Considering Genius, Ahmad Jamal is considered the second most important jazz figure, after Charlie Parker, post-WWII and in the book – Miles Davis and American Culture – author Gerard Lyn Early notes that Jamal “has been one of the most commercially successful small-group leaders in jazz for five decades.” These two statements sum up Ahmad Jamal’s musical legacy as one to be recognized as ambitiously tethered to tradition but relentlessly innovative through the movement of music and character.
Ahmad Jamal‘s career began at the age of seven when his uncle Lawrence stopped him as he was walking past his parents’ piano in the living room. He challenged the young Jamal to emulate the work his uncle was doing on the piano, note for note. Jamal later said “the rest is history.” By 1950, Jamal had toured with the George Henson Orchestra and had traveled to Chicago with The Four Strings, both of which he later departed from to venture as a band leader. In 1955, he released his first album Ahmad Jamal Plays via Parrot Records and in the span of 57 years, he has since released over 60 albums as well as 11 collaboration albums. Most recently, he released Blue Moon via Jazz Village in 2012.
Jamal’s solo work has been sampled by Hip Hop’s elite – including his song “Ghetto Child” that has been sampled on nine occasions, “The World is a Ghetto” – 11 times, “Misdemeanor” – 13 times, “Pastures” – seven times, and “Swahililand” on eight occasions, all on a commercial basis!
For more information on Ahmad Jamal, please visit his personal site – http://www.ahmadjamal.net.
The Jazz Jousters are brought to you by Millennium Jazz Music, an international Hip Hop – Jazz and Jazz orientated music community that manage the “Lab Off” sessions including podcast showcasing various musical talent from all across the globe.
1. http://www.ahmadjamal.net/index.html – biography