Ahmad Jamal / Ahmad Jamal Trio

Count 'Em 88

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This LP (not yet reissued on CD) was pianist Ahmad Jamal's first with his new group, a trio also including bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Walter Perkins. Although he was reasonably popular around the Chicago area at the time, Jamal's major breakthrough would be the following album, But Not for Me, recorded more than a year later. The "Jamal sound," with its expert use of dynamics, close interplay, space and subtle surprises was very much in place, and this out-of-print set is on the same level as his better-known hits to come. Highlights include "Green Dolphin Street," "How About You" and "Easy To Remember." Well worth searching for.

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