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Cross Country Tour (1958-1961) [Live]

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Album Review

This two-CD set has highlights from pianist Ahmad Jamal's famous trio dates for Argo, with selections drawn from At the Pershing, At the Pershing Vol. 2, Portfolio of Ahmad Jamal, Alhambra, and At the Blackhawk, plus one selection only out before in a sampler. It is a pity that the five valuable albums were not reissued in full on a three-CD set, for these were among the most important recordings of Jamal's career. His trio (with bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier) had a unique sound, utilizing close communication and dynamics to an extraordinary degree. "Poinciana" was a huge hit, and other highlights included on this twofer include "But Not for Me," "Cherokee," "Billy Boy," "This Can't Be Love" and "Falling In Love With Love." Although easily recommended as an introduction to this classic group, the preferred complete sessions will hopefully appear on CD someday too.

Customer Reviews

Good - better if whole

There are two double CD releases of the same dates. One set contains select studio sessions, while the other contains notable live performances. This is indeed a significant period in the life of one of the most under-rated trios in Jazz history. Rare recordings at Ahmad's club, "The Alhambra," "The Blackhawk," and at "The Pershing" are included along with other "Argo" Label works. The original extended version of "Poinciana," recorded at the Pershing, along with "Broadway" recorded at the Alhambra, are worth the trip alone. Outstanding! Rivaled in cohesiveness only by the great works of the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpin. Ahmad along with drummer Vernell Fournier and bassist Isreal Crosby have a completely unique sound and make generous use of space in their tight-nit interaction. Both of these collections need to be a part of any serious fans library. For reasons unknown to me, iTunes offers many "partial" albums. Both of these collections can be found as mp3 downloads over on completely intact. Trust the "Jazz Doctor" on these. You won't be sorry. 06.08


Extremely good

One of my favorites!

To bad we can't get the whole album! This is a great two disk compilation of some of the best live jazz you'll ever hear! Why are some of the best tracks missing? POINCIANA...etc..! I just can't buy it until I can have the whole thing!


Born: July 2, 1930 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most individualistic pianists, composers, and arrangers of his generation, Ahmad Jamal's disciplined technique and minimalist style had a huge impact on trumpeter Miles Davis, and Jamal is often cited as contributing to the development of cool jazz throughout the 1950s. Though Jamal was a highly technically proficient player, well-versed in the gymnastic idioms of swing and bebop, he chose to play in a more pared down and nuanced style. Which is to say that while he played with the skill...
Full Bio

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