Ahmad Jamal

Complete Live at the Spotlite Club 1958

  • AllMusic Rating
    10
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Gambit presents the Ahmad Jamal Trio recorded Live at the Spotlite Club in Washington, D.C. on September 5 and 6, 1958. Beautifully remastered and carefully sequenced so as to closely approximate the original order of presentation, these performances illustrate the dramatic interplay between pianist Jamal, bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernell Fournier. Best heard at sunset, late at night by candlelight, or in a cozy room softly illumined by indirect incandescence, this music offers the listener an opportunity to savor both what Jamal plays and what he doesn't play. His sense of timing, the way he employs contrasting dynamics and his quirky flair for the dramatic have always made Ahmad Jamal an exciting performer. His Spotlite recordings are filled with surprises and exhilarating passages, such as the spirited rendition of "Squatty Roo" by the great Johnny Hodges. Note that much of the nearly three hours of material recorded nine months earlier at the Pershing Club in Chicago appears to have vanished; one can only hope that some sort of time capsule will one day surface, packed with reels of all-but-forgotten Jamal, and be shared with the public. Happily, a much larger percentage of the music recorded at the Spotlite did survive, found its way onto numerous albums over the years, and appears here in Gaslight's gloriously dilated complete edition. Three studio-recorded bonus tracks have been added to this excellent compilation; these elusive rarities were originally issued as 45 rpm singles.

blue highlight denotes track pick