Saturday, July 6, 2013


I was seventeen in 1959 and had just begun playing jazz piano in coffee houses and clubs, all because of Ahmad Jamal. I had been playing piano since starting lessons at four and loved all kinds of music, including jazz which I got turned onto by my late older brothers (two of them already teenagers when I was born and both reed men, clarinet and sax) but had heard nothing quite like Jamal's touch or phrasing (Miles David attributed this period of the young Jamal's playing as the major influence in the change in his phrasing, talking about how Jamal uses less to do more etc.) and became so enamored with it I basically played every tune he recorded in his arrangements, only faster to prove I had mastered it. Of course I only thought I had. This video is so great, first of all just to show you what you could find on early TV that you can't now (thankfully you can find a lot of it on the Internet though)—the array of talent is staggering. I recognized Ben Webster (in hat with cig in his mouth) and the jazz enthusiast and critic Nat Hentoff (bearded white cat with pipe) but can only guess the rest (I'm wondering if the white chick next to Hentoff is Irene Krall, one of my favorite jazz artists back then). Anyway, if you watch this all the way through and don't get how great it is. Watch it again, until you do.


Ronti waqus said...
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Robert Berner said...

Lal--Many thanks for posting this. Ya gotta love the lightness and fluidity of his touch.
And at the end of this video you can also link to some mellow guitar work from the likes of Tal Farlow, Herb Ellis, etc. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
Bob B.

Lally said...

You're totally welcome Bob. A delight to have so much at our fingertips.