Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ahmad Jamal - "One" (1978)

 The Electric Jamal history that accompanied the "Stepping Out With A Dream" post some months back prompted me first to search out Ahmad Jamal's "Intervals", and also to ask around for this 1978 album.

Hanimex 3000 (check his blog) has come forward with his own vinyl rip and kindly dropped it into the "Intervals" comments for the ongoing Jamal discography. Merci bien Hanimex! Please see the text file in the download for more info about his blog, radio show and other things.

Well, this one should send some Jamal purists screaming for the hills. Scott Yanow from AMG seemingly collapsed in a fit of indignation after his paragraph review of "Intervals" and didn't bother with this one. Yanow probably would have had a heart attack if he'd listened to my favourite track here, a version of Steely Dan's "Black Cow" on which Jamal only plays (gasp) clavinet. It's cute, soulful and has a girl vocal chorus (including Eloise Laws).

Like "Intervals" which followed it the next year, "One" is an eclectic mix of styles and personnel that did not bode well for sales. Nevertheless, some great tracks here, and worth checking out. I'm a bit worried that this is the second album in a month on this blog with a version of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are", but I'll get over it and so will you. But is E-Mile up to the challenge of a compilation??

There are no less than three producers here : Richard Evans, who helmed Jamal's initial 20th Century 'electric' releases, such as "Ahmad Jamal '73" and "Jamalca"; 'Partridge Family' arranger/keyboardist Mike Melvoin; and finally Sigidi, a Mizell Brothers compatriot/conductor on albums like Donald Byrd's "Stepping Into Tomorrow", Bobbi Humphrey's "Fancy Dancer" and Johnny Hammond's "Gears" ... but best known later for his production of the S.O.S. Band.

These people are all big production arrangers, and so big productions you get. Melvoin is on synths, and there's another rhodes player on "Black Cow". Half the tracks feature string and horn arrangements, and there's percussionists galore, including the ubiquitous Paulinho Da Costa, Rufus drummer Andre Fisher, fellow Partridge Family session-star Hal Blaine, and even Bill Summers from the Headhunters (who featured on the Hancock bootleg I posted on the weekend).

On these busier tracks - "One", "Black Cow", "Jet" - Jamal seems sometimes content to sit back and pound away on the acoustic almost as part of the percussion section, as if in training for an arm wrestle with McCoy Tyner - breaking out with his trademark flourishes, but remaining part of a rhythmic interface even in his solo spots. Check the way he integrates his piano into the flute-driven track "One" in the preview at the top of the post.

He gets more harmonic space in the 'band' numbers like "Dynamo" and "Festival", built around his then-core live group of Calvin Keys, John Heard and Kenneth Nash, though there's still at least two percussionists per track. Jamal's own composition "Sumayah" is the only solo piano spot here.

So anyway, take your big black cow and get out of here, and thank Hanimex 3000 in the comments puh-leez.


1. 'One (Ahmad)' - (Sigidi - Welton Gite)
2. 'Just The Way You Are' - (Joel)
3. 'Jet' - (Benjamin, Revel, Weiss)
4. 'Black Cow' - (Becker-Fagen)
5. 'Dynamo' - (Jamal)
6. 'Sumayah'
- (Jamal)
7. 'Festival' - (Jamal)


One (Ahad)
David Crawford (flute & alto flute), Mike Melvoin (polymoog & minimoog), Ahmad Jamal (piano), John Rowin (guitar), Chuck Rainey (bass), Roger Barthelemy (drums), Bill Summers (bongos & percussion)
Conducted and arranged by Sigidi

Just the Way You Are
Mike Melvoin (polymoog synthesizer), Ahmad Jamal (piano), John Rowin & Mario Henderson (guitar), John Heard (bass), Scotty Edwards (electric bass), Andre Fisher (drums), Shondo Rondo Akeim (congas), Geoff Howe (percussion).

Ahmad Jamal (piano), John Rowin & Mario Henderson (electric guitar), Scotty Edwards (bass), Andre Fisher (drums), Shondo Rondo Akeim (congas), Paulinho DaCosta (percussion)
Horn section arranged and conducted by Mike Melvoin Rhythm section arranged by Richard Evans and directed by Sigidi.

Black Cow
Ahmad Jamal (clavinet), John Rowin (guitar), Scotty Edwards (bass), Steve Bowling (Fender Rhodes), Roger Barthelemy (drums), Bill Summers (conga), Hal Blaine (percussion), Eloise Laws, Stephanie Spruill, Virginia Ayers (vocals)
Conducted and arranged by SigidiHorns arranged and conducted by Mike Melvoin.

Ahmad Jamal (piano), Calvin Keys (guitar), John Heard (bass), Eddie Marshall (drums), Kenny Nash (congas), Hal Blaine (percussion).

Ahmad Jamal (solo piano)

Ahmad Jamal (piano), Calvin Keys (guitar), John Heard (bass), Eddie Marshall (drums), Kenny Nash (congas), Paulino DaCosta (percussion).

20th Century Fox Records
catalogue # M 555
Recorded at : Hollywood, Filmways / Heider Recordings
Recording dates : May, June & July 1978

is here

Vinyl rip by Hanimex 3000.
Some credits from Jean Princes' Ahmad Jamal discography.

Other blogs linked in this post are : Hanimex 3000, Orgy In Rhythm, E-Mile Says Songs Do the Matter, My Jazz World, Cosmic Music, Oufar Khan and Blak's Lair.
Please thank these fine folks if you visit their blogs and download their albums.


the jazzstronaut said...

Hi Simon, recently purchased a copy of this on vinyl but yet to listen to it. Thanks for making it available to the rest of the gang. Do you, by any chance, have any info on the following:
Eko - Kilimanjaro My Home
Eero Koivistionen - Wahoo

Robert said...

thanks guys for the link and big up Hanimex 3000 for this great upload.
love the name btw!!!

Reza said...


Eero Koivistoinen overload plus info


don't forget the password

Simon666 said...

Thanks Reza :)

the jazzstronaut said...

You guys are just too much!!! Thank you very much and thanks Hanimex 3000

the jazzstronaut said...

Thanks Reza, really appreciate it.

el goog said...

Thanks Hanimex3000, thank you Simon!
BTW is this a way to avoid the direct :)

the jazzstronaut said...

Hey Reza, unable to contact Lisa for the password, do you know it?

colinb said...

Thanks to everyone for this-great stuff

Gianni aka Cesare Barbetta said...

Hanimex & Simon,
thank you!
I missed this jamal LP.
thanks again

Hanimex 3000 said...

Simon, I didn't thought you will write a special post for this album, as it doesn't contain the slightest note of Rhodes (and it's not a masterpiece). But 1° you did and 2° in fact you're offering another special light on my blog! I am deeply grateful.

@ Robert:
My mate EyeBender found the name, thinking of one of his old game consoles [it's also the name of a company specialised in optical material exportation: http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Hanimex]. And as 2000 was over, I opted for the year 3000. Simple.

@ jazzstronaut:
1) password is ezhevika.blogspot.com
2) I own the Eko album and I hope to share it this summer (it's in the "...", after Batalia :), but you all must be waiting a while, I first have to defend my thesis...

@ everybody:
Thanks!!! Please be patient, I'm quite sure I won't have time to post a new topic in the 3-4 next weeks... Have a look on myspace, there are podcasts to dwnld.

NewB. (+ EyeB.)

Kosta said...

thanks a lot fot this Jamal i never had the chance to listen before...

Wallofsound said...

You know how much I like AJ. I'll give it a listen and report back.

Hanimex 3000 said...

Great post Simon... Talking about AJ, I suggest y'all to discover Anthony Joseph (& the spasmband): he's a remarkable poet from Trinidad currently "exploding" the stage everywhere he plays in France.


the jazzstronaut said...

Hanimex, thanks a lot for the password. Best wishes with the thesis, you clever boy!!!

Lafayette said...

Great post, Simon/Hanimex.
I've owned this album, but sold it (along with another yard of vinyls) some years back...remember thinking it was unlistenable...crap...but listening to these excerpts got stomping my foot...dunno if I've matured or developed some new senses or something, but suddenly it all sounds real good!


Simon666 said...

hey lafayette,
good to see you :) Yeah not the greatest album, but def. some good moments here ...

JTF said...

Thanx Hanimex 3000!

Wallofsound said...

No, this isn't the LP to start an Ahmad Jamal addiction, but once you have one it has to be listened to.

All these producers and settings suggests that 20th Century Fox Records were really trying to find Jamal a place in late 1970s jazz. They clearly believed in him. There's been quite a bit of money spent on the production.

The LP is far more coherent than Intervals, but doesn't quite hit the high spots. Jamal clearly liked the title track because he recorded it a couple more times (Digital Works and Waltz For Debbie). Here it is far more open and expansive. Loved it. I thought Black Cow would be the real winner, but I'm going to argue it is Just The Way You Are. I think Jamal is really good with schmaltzy tunes, and this really worked! (Well ok, perhaps not the best; but it does work)

Anonymous said...

hmmm, his play is always sweet. especially i like the laid-back sound of A1. thanks a lot Simon and Hanimex!!!

Morganized said...

lovely cover, can't wait 2 listen.

Simon666 said...

Check the Jamal discography at the base of this post :


... for a new donation of "Night Song" (1980) by Trevor.

Fumi said...


pollux said...

great post thanks ! I discovered Ahmad with his famous trio composed by Fournier / Crosby but his 70s are great too.
This guy is simply a geant.


Anonymous said...

here is the Official Ahmad Jamal Site


Anonymous said...

Thank you Simon666.. I've been looking for this album for 20 years. Sigidi and I wrote the title song "One". This is really great. Thank you again...

Simon666 said...

Glad to help reunite you with this album, Welton :)
I was just DJing yesterday and played Gary Bartz's "Music is My Sanctuary", an old favourite. Is that you on bass?

Reno said...

Hi There, I am so glad I found your site! I have most of these on vinyl but it's fantastic to see all of these in mp3 format. I will try to dig some of my collection out to share with you all. Keep the real music alive!

Thijs said...

Thanks for this one, keep up the great blog. Cheers.

Vel_Kam said...

Thanks a lot , Simon666,for this greate post!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hanimex, Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon

Thanks to you & everyone involved with this Share.

Still finding great things on your Great Blog.

Jazz Obsessive

jimi66 said...

Simon you never cease to amaze me , you are truly a man amongst boys, Thanks . Jimi