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Cross Country Tour, 1958-1961 [2 CD] Live

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, April 7, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Ahmad's piano wizardry-not to mention his trio's brio-was at its stunning best in these legendary live performances. Six awesome live albums (including At the Pershing ) are distilled down into 2 CDs of majestic and influential jazz.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Chess
  • ASIN: B000006EJ4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,892 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William E Donoghue on January 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The first sides are from the classic "Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing" which was as essential listening in its way as "Kind of Blue." Miles was inspired by the selection of show tunes, many of which he also recorded later with Red Garland playing the Ahmad Jamal role on piano. I think it was not so much what Jamal played but what he did not play. His use of space was phenomenal. Vernell Fournier was a New Orleans drummer and Isreal Crosby had played and recorded with Benny Goodman. Together they reinvented jazz for a decade. This LP, by the way, and not Muddy Waters recording was what put Chess Records (Argo's parent) on the map financially. So thank Jamal for the other music that he funded. Classic stuff and never enough of it.
Bill Donoghue
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Format: Audio CD
If you've ever wondered where the light sound in jazz came from, here it is. Miles Davis cites Ahmad Jamal as one of his primary influences. This is what confident, un-self-conscious jazz sounds like. Listening to this album is an experience not easily forgotten. With all the talk about pianists like Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson, Jamal's minimalist approach to jazz piano is like a cool breeze. So, take a breath
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Format: Audio CD
From a musician's standpoint, this band displays more interplay in one chorus of a tune than some bands have in a lifetime. The almost psychic connection between the trio is amazing to listen to. They pull changes in tempo, feel, time signature, breaks, hits, they do it all without flinching. Israel Crosby is one of the most underrated bassists of all time. Just listening to the first few tunes shows that these guys could not only spice up standards, but they did it as a unit. Although there is very little stretching out (most of these tunes are barely more than 3 minutes), everyone gets a piece of the action in a way that's more than satisfying. If you're looking for the tightest band ever, here it is.
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Format: Audio CD
Ahmad Jamal is one of the finest and smoothest pianist period! I use to listen to "Live at the Pershing" when I was in college. "Poinciana" would always put me in the right frame of mind. This compilation is well worth the money! It is the next best thing to seeing him "Live" in person.
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Format: Audio CD
For so many reasons, this is one of the best jazz CD's I own. First and foremost is the phenomenal playing of Jamal. His selection of chord voicings is so original, unique and bright, after just a few songs you will be able to distinguish his playing from that of any other jazz pianist you may be familiar with. Especially on well known songs, like Surrey with the Fringe on Top, Cherokee, and My Funny Valentine, the songs take on a whole new life once you've heard Jamal play them. Speaking of which, that's another bright spot of this CD: the song selection. This is a veritable run down of the history of jazz. Jamal and his trio cover so many aspects of jazz, you could probably teach the history of jazz songwriting with just this 2-CD set. The absolute best song is Poinciana, which is positively breathtaking, with Broadway a close second. (Amazing that those two songs are not available as MP3's - guess they knew that was the best way to sell the CD package.) The third outstanding feature of this set is the recording itself. Taken from five different sessions, the sound is clean, well-produced, and the audience and ambient noise do not detract from the music. The liner notes are chock full of interesting notes about the recordings, Jamal's journey through music, the recording sessions, the record company, you name it. Simply said, this CD covers a lot of jazz piano ground, and no serious jazz collector, jazz student, jazz historian, jazz pianist, or jazz fan can be without it. I'm serious. This is the top of the heap.
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Format: Audio CD
What you get here are two chock-full CDs of the best of Ahmad Jamal's trio output during the late 50s and early 60s. Maybe his absolute best output, period.

Ahmad plays smoothly, melodically, adding quirky interpretations of the melody a little at a time. Sometimes he improvises by subtracting, leaving out notes or lines instead of cluttering things up with lots of notes. Then, out of nowhere will come lightning fast runs or accented notes, struck loud and proud. This is the excitement of the Ahmad Jamal Trio. Melody. Space. Silence. Surprise. Delight!

This collection also contains 3/4 of the classic album Live At The Pershing -- you don't absolutely need that album if you have this one -- the essential stuff is here.

Cross Country Tour is on my personal list of the 100 best albums of all time. The recording quality is a little dodgy here and there, but you can't beat the music. It has had replay after replay in my house for years.
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By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Just want to make the distinction between "light" and "smooth" jazz. Unlike the loathesome latter, this music swings. Jamal is cool, not Kool. And he doesn't play a lot of notes -- only the right ones. (Just one question about Dregol's right-on review: What's with the apostrophe in "trio's?"
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Format: Audio CD
The first sides are from the classic "Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing" which was as essential listening in its way as "Kind of Blue." Miles was inspired by the selection of show tunes, many of which he also recorded later with Red Garland playing the Ahmad Jamal role on piano. I think it was not so much what Jamal played but what he did not play. His use of space was phenomenal. Vernell Fournier was a New Orleans drummer and Isreal Crosby had played and recorded with Benny Goodman. Together they reinvented jazz for a decade. This LP, by the way, and not Muddy Waters recording was what put Chess Records (Argo's parent) on the map financially. So thank Jamal for the other music that he funded. Classic stuff and never enough of it.
Bill Donoghue
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