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Blue Moon Import


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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Ahmad Jamal - Live in Balbeck

Biography

Critic Stanley Crouch cites AHMAD JAMAL's impact on the fresh form in jazz as an outstanding conceptionalist. Crouch considers Mr. Jamal's distinctive style as having had an influence on the same level as "Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Theolonius Monk, Horace Silver and John Lewis, all thinkers whose wrestling with form and content ... Read more in Amazon's Ahmad Jamal Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 14, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Jazz Village
  • ASIN: B0065HDMAC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,486 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Autumn Rain
2. Blue Moon
3. Gypsy
4. Invitation
5. I Remember Italy
6. Laura
7. Morning Mist
8. This Is the Life
9. Woody'n You

Editorial Reviews

Review

At 81 years of age pianist Jamal sounds close to his 1950s Chess Records best...The title track is an absolute masterpiece, the whole 10 minutes poised on one repeated figure. --The Independent, 4 Stars

Blue Moon is another exalted and exquisite outing. Listening to it, the world seems, for a precious while, a better place. --All About Jazz

Jamal's Autumn Rain opens the show with his trademark grandiloquent chords over a ticking rimshot groove...Blue Moon is a classic firework display of silvery runs and arpeggios full of hints of the tune...this session looks set to be one of his classics. --The Guardian, 4 Stars

Blue Moon is another exalted and exquisite outing. Listening to it, the world seems, for a precious while, a better place. --All About Jazz

Jamal's Autumn Rain opens the show with his trademark grandiloquent chords over a ticking rimshot groove...Blue Moon is a classic firework display of silvery runs and arpeggios full of hints of the tune...this session looks set to be one of his classics. --The Guardian, 4 Stars

Product Description

This month we proudly introduce Jazz Village a new label from harmonia mundi. The label s mission is to bring together all the jazz and blues recordings from the HM label group under one roof, to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the company s acclaimed efforts in these key genres. Our debut release gets things off to a smashing start, with a major new recording from a jazz legend. Blue Moon is not just Ahmad Jamal s latest album, it s his latest masterpiece suffused with a feeling reminiscent of his greatest periods with Chess and Impulse. The album features original compositions of pure majesty and brilliant new interpretations of classics and standards. Each of the albums 9 tracks showcases Jamal's creative reinvention of switn, provides a pretext for some breathtaking melodies and sophisticated syncopations that are guaranteed to amaze. Accompanied by three impeccable guardians of tempo (Reginald Veal, Herlin Riley, and Manolo Badrena), on Blue Moon, Jamal is clearly at the peak of his artistry.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
This album is a masterpiece and belongs in every Jazz lover's collection.
Trane Lover Brian
Jamal has been master of this technique for decades, and brings an inventiveness and humour to his playing which is an absolute joy to listen to.
The Guardian
His playing sounds like a collage of notes and chords that swoop and swerve over a sometimes steady and or ever changing rthymic foundation.
Russell E. Welch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Five HUGE Stars!! The awesome "Blue Moon" is one of Ahmad Jamal's best! This CD captures jazz hall of fame composer, innovator, and piano genius Ahmad Jamal at age 81 and at the height of his musical powers": swinging, attacking, and improvising as creatively as he has throughout an illustrious career. This Jamal quartet is composed of the ingenious percussionism of 22 year Jamal 'conguero' Manolo Badrena, the vital bottom pulse of Reginald Veal on his bass violin, and master drummer Herlin Riley, a welcome addition to the drum kit again after 20 years. Mr Jamal, already in other international halls of fame, in 2011 became the most recent addition to the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame. Here he is in splendid compositional and improvisational form, lengthening the performance time of most songs for more extensive explorations. The result is a whopping 72 minute CD with all of the characteristics that have made him a jazz favorite for decades: beguiling vamps, smoking pedal-points, lush interludes, sudden tempo changes, extensive ballad expositions, and hard-swinging solos in uncompromising virtuosity. In addition, the bass and percussion players 'crank it up' a notch to the boiling point on many songs.

The performances are uniformly great, but my favorites begin with the latin-flavored "Blue Moon" which is on display in one of Mr Jamal's arrangements of endlessly looping 'pedal-points' (which he originated with his mega-hit Poinciana and which inspired the Miles Davis and John Coltrane 'modal' frameworks) based on a 5-note figuration by bassist Veal, with Badrena and Riley cutting loose on percussion with rim shots, rolling snare figures, crashing cymbals, cowbell accents, and a timbale 'clave'.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What can explain such renewed brilliance? Is it the three new supporting musicians with their own rhythmic innovations? Is it the new recording label and its producers? Is it some juvenating elixir? Whatever the reason, this album is certainly among Jamal's career best. For a while, I felt, particularly from a recent performance, that Jamal had entered a rut with little new to say. For an octogenerian to now become so fresh gives hope to us all. The engineering standards of the European label Harmonia mundi are high, and although the album is comparatively expensive, it is 72 minutes in length, which is extraordinary for a new jazz recording. Consider the very choice of tunes: he performs two standards, Blue Moon and Laura, that invite comparisons but which he makes his own. Here is beauty and majesty, as with the other pieces, for instance, Invitation. Even the new compositions--the opening, Autumn Rain, with its complex development and hard propulsion; I Remember Italy, a romantic reflection that begins in quiet nostalgia and ends as a grin; and Morning Mist, which commences with Reginald Veals' bass solo and continues with Jamal's own bass statements and treble melody--display refreshed creativity. Drummer Herlin Riley is inventive and exciting, and Manolo Badrena's overlaying Latin percussion add further texture and tropical exotica to the sound. Reginald Veals' bass is so in synch with percussion that for most tracks it does not stand out but rounds out the group's sound. Such a satisfying, bright, confident album will bring cheer to jazz fans.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert Carraher on February 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD
There are few people alive who can honestly be said to have been an influence on Miles Davis. Fewer still who are named in the same breath with jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk when speaking great jazz piano players.

But Ahmad Jamal is that person. Miles once said "All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal.". He introduced the concepts of space, silence and dramatic dynamics into jazz performance, proving the adage that it is often what you don't play that is genius. And what is even more amazing is that at 81 years young, he still manages to make his music fresh, young and brilliant. Blue Moon is not just his latest album, it's just his latest masterpiece.

As Chris May at AllAboutJazz said, "It is tempting to say that, at age 82, Ahmad Jamal carries on getting better and better, but that would be to miss the point. The pianist long ago reached a level of perfection from which it is simply not possible to get better. It is a level, however, to which he habitually returns."

In this marvelous collection, Jamal turns to a place where he has not only made his own mark, but from where he has often found his favorite songs. Broadway, and the classic American Cinema. He's also the guy who covered Clint Eastwood's piano parts in Bridges Of Madison County. he also includes here three of his original compositions, giving a new interpretation to "Autumn Rain" (above), "Morning Mist" and "I Remember Italy."

The sound on this JazzVillage release is brilliant and you soon realize that those `Classical Music' engineers have a trick or two. Jazz Village is the Jazz label for Harmonia Mundi. The sound captured on this disk is so `live' that you'll wonder if you aren't sitting on stage.
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