Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ahmad Jamal - Pittsburgh (1989)


GEOGRAPHY WEEK (JANUARY 8-14, 2012)
Not your typical jazz piano album. While there are two tracks with solo piano, the other 6 have wonderful, soaring strings and horns. Richard Evans' orchestrations are tasteful and elegant without overshadowing Jamal's unique playing; they just fit. I usually listen to this CD as background music and it is perfect for that, but Jamal really deserves better. Jazz critic Stanley Crouch writes that no single artist since Charlie Parker has been more important to the development of fresh form in jazz than Jamal. That's evident with his sound on this work. I've got nothing else that sounds remotely close to this album in my collection.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: I like the title track, Mellowdrama, and Fly Away. I find the two solo tracks, Foolish Ways and Apple Avenue, to be quite relaxing. The 6th track, Cycles, is the only cut not to my liking. It's a little too fragmented for me.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Back when eBay was more like a garage sale than an online mall, I would search for "jazz cd lot" and find sets of 4 or 5 CDs for $10 or so. This was in one of the lots I purchased. While it isn't something I would have searched for, I'm glad I came across it.

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