Monday, April 6, 2009

Ahmad Jamal - "Intervals" (1979)

Long time since the last post, back at university for a new year, and a few weeks of pericarditis which is not fun, but here we are ...

This was another album that I wanted to track down after the Electric Jamal post that accompanied the album "Steppin Out With a Dream" a few months back, so here's a nice clean vinyl rip for blogland.

By the time of this, his final album for 20th Century Records, Ahmad Jamal seemed to want to pull away from the dense orchestrations and electric stylings of earlier albums for the label like "Ahmad Jamal '73" and "Jamalca" - he's on his way back to the acoustic piano and smaller group work. You can see that transition taking place on this sometimes uneven album, his last to include the rhodes as an instrument.


The best rhodes work is on the stepper "Boatride", where he's developed a flowing yet precise electric piano style that's markedly different from the pounding acoustic piano style that he pursues on "The Tube", a frenetic conga-laden piece that I also like.

'The Tube'

On "You're Welcome, Stop On By" he returns to his "Outertimeinnerspace" and "Freeflight" - era voicing method, where he establishes flowing chord textures on the rhodes before turning to acoustic piano for the more dynamic solos and melodic statement.

'You're Welcome, Stop On By'

Elsewhere he's working with smaller groups, on tracks like "Jordie" and a great version of "So In Love", on which he's just accompanied by acoustic bass. The album is called a "compilation" on the cover, which it's actually not (I've checked, you know what I'm like) - but it's certainly a compilation of quite different ideas and sessions. Half the album's produced by Paul Gayten, and the other half by Fifth-Dimension svengali Bones Howe, who's also the subject of one of the lesser tracks, "Bones".

Strangely, there's a faded-in "excerpt" of "My One and Only Love", which in its short duration recalls the fuller version on the Gayten-produced "Steppin Out With a Dream". The sheer clumsiness of the editing suggests, perhaps, some dissatisfaction with the record company and/or the sessions. The only real stinker is the inappropriately-named "Reggae", a confused slight calypso which seems to pass the baton to each musician in turn in search of some sort of inspiration or swing.

In the end it's a 50-50 effort, with a couple of great funky tracks and Jamal relishing his return to the piano, on which he's always superb. Hope you enjoy this one!


01. 'You're Welcome, Stop On By' - (Womack- Thomas) - 5:48
02. 'Jordie' - (Jamal) - 3:49
03. 'So In Love' - (Cole Porter) - 3:39
04. 'Reggae' - (Jamal) - 3:47
05. 'Boatride' - (Jamal) - 5:09
06. 'Excerpt From "My One And Only Love" ' - (Mellin-Wood) - 2:09
07. 'The Tube' - (Jamal) - 4:14
08. 'Bones' - (Jamal) - 6:20


A total mystery ! Not named on the cover, not noted in Jean Prince's otherwise meticulous discography. Ahmad Jamal on keyboards; plus bass, drums, occasional brass section and guitar.


Label - 20th Century Records
Catalogue number - T-622
Producer - Bones Howe (tracks: 1, 2, 7, 8)
Producer -Paul Gayten (tracks: 4, 5, 6)
Producer - Ahmad Jamal (track 3)
Compilation Producer - Michael Stewart
Mastered By - Mike Reese
Mixed By - Barney Perkins
Cover Painting - Joan Swanson
Design - Roland Young
Edited at Sierra Pacific, Los Angeles
Mixed at Golden Sound, LA
Mastered at the Mastering Lab

in this post

Vinyl rip by Simon666
Other albums linked in this post are at My Jazz World. Please say thanks if you go there.



ish said...

Thanks Simon. Anxious to hear the cover of "You're Welcome Stop on By." The Rufus version has always been a fave. Downloading now.
Hope you're feeling better and not too swamped with work.

My verification word is "vulable"

Joe said...

YES! Awesome!

Matty B. said...

Thanks for this in depth post. I love Ahmad Jamal's style; can't wait to hear Intervals.

Jazzjet said...

Great post. Thanks Simon - and welcome back after your illness.

JTF said...


Weekend Hippie said...

I just love Amhad's 20th century lp's, not only is he excellent on acoustic, but also electric piano.

Many thanks for your great taste in music, and all your hard work!

Art Simon said...

Thanks Simon! I've wanted to hear this for some time. I actually had the poster for this album in my room at college. Camp records in LA, just down the street from Occidental College, had a big bin of free posters. I grabbed this one and had it in my dorm room for some time. This is the first I've heard the record though! (As an aside, Barack Obama entered Occidental the same year I did, but I never saw him). Thanks again!

verystupidhead said...

Thanks again mate love this album...ta muchly !!!!

Turntablist said...

Thanks Simon, I've been waiting for this album for ages! I love your blog and your Brazilian compilations.


Leonardo Francesconi said...

Let's listen! Thank you!!

Wallofsound said...

A quick count through my record collection shows I've got 54 Jamal LPs, but not this one. I've not come across it before. Many thanks for sharing.

Simon666 said...

Glad to help out, Wallofsound :)
Have you got "One" (1978)? Curious to hear that ...

Hanimex 3000 said...

Welcome back Simon. And thanks for posting some new (for me) 70s jazzfunk!
Acoustic piano masters never miss the point when they switch to the mighty Rhodes (Gordon Beck, Martial Solal, Maurice Vander, etc.), especially when Rhodes is NOT their "favourite" instrument.
Nice coincidence: I found a batch of jazz records at flea market last weekend, and it included Jamal's previous LP "One".

PS: also, if somebody has a rip of Bobbi Humphrey's "The Good Life" (1979 Epic)...

ish said...

Hanimex I downloaded a really awful rip of The Good Life somewhere last year....I don't remember from where unfortunately. I do own the vinyl but I'm not sure what condition it's in.... it's far from her best album but it's worth a listen. Let me check out my LP and see what it looks like.

Hanimex 3000 said...

Hmm. I remember listening to "freestyle" just after having discovered the Mizells sound. I let you imagine how disappointed I was.
Anyway. The fact is that last week I started to review the complete 70s discography of BH in my radio prog, and I figured out only yesterday that I was missing her last one. I'm convinced that "the good life" is certainly far from essential, but I promised to my listeners that I'll be complete on the subject...

That reminds me I should check out if my copy of Jamal's "One" is not too damaged, it's likely to be shared...

omg its 3AM!? got to leave the office, and quick.

Simon666 said...

Hey Hanimex,
Let us know how you go with "One". Also, you should check out Ish's post of some later Bobbi Humphrey singles

mrpsychguy said...


soulbrotha said...

Thanks for this, Simon. I am a sucker for "Stop On By" in any incarnation. :)

Simon666 said...

Agree with you there Soulbrotha, I always love it, though the Chaka/Rufus version always remains the fave :)

Anonymous said...

Su web en:

Anonymous said...

Wallofsound said...

At last I got a chance to listen.

A real mixed bag! The best tracks are great, and I even like Bones. If they'd excluded Reggae, and given us a full My One and Only Love and Bones the thing would have held together.

I haven't got One, so I'm hoping Hanimex 3000 will rip and share.

soulbrotha said...

Absolutely agree, Simon! :)

Kosta said...

Boatride is the only track i prev. knew of this album,
thanks for the full and for sharing the wav!!!

Gianni aka Cesare Barbetta said...

thank you Simon.
I missed this Jamal release!

Happy Easter to you and to everyone here.

the sound of life said...

talk about some fire! good looking out on this Simon!

Economiewurm said...

Thanks Simon.

Great album, especially "Bones" and "Boatride.


Hanimex 3000 said...

hi y'all

I've ripped my copy of "One", it's likely to show up this month.

@ Simon: if Bobbi H.'s 1979 LP "The Good Life" is really weak, I suggest You to post the most interesting tune in your "track of the day" series. One tune is enough for my broadcast.


Simon666 said...

Hi Hanimex ,
Looking forward to "One', drop us a note here when it's up :)
Re Bobbi Humphrey : It's Ish who has the album (see above), I don't have that one ...

jazzobsessive said...

Thanks Simon

Hanimex 3000 said...

You're right Simon, thanks -- I'll ask Ish later.

Robert said...

thanks Simon!!

I didn't know about this release,really appreciated:)

johnv said...

Thanks for a great share Simon.

colinb said...

Great post-look forward to hearing "One" when you post it.

Hanimex 3000 said...

hey hey. Look at

Simon666 said...

Thanks very much Hanimex 3000 !
I'll put up a special post :)

catacaldos said...

Fantastic post (both two,Hanimex)Thanks

Simon666 said...

Hi Hanimex –
Done a post for it :
Ahmad Jamal – “One” (1978), thanks again.

ish said...

I'm happy to announce that thanks to a contributor Bobbi Humphrey's The Good Life is now up at my blog.

Simon666 said...

Check the Jamal discography at the base of this post :

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

pollux said...

I didn't know this one at all from the monster Ahmad, THANKS !! Excellent !!

Simon666 said...

Hi pollux,
Check out "Steppin Out With A Dream" if you don't know it ..

Anonymous said...

sampled by smif n wessun on da shinin ! great record

Anonymous said...

Hace años que busco el disco Intervals, sobre todo el tema Bones.
Muchas Gracias. danielo

Mike Stone (Notorious) said...

Hey Simon,

Thank you for posting this great 1979 album by Ahmad Jamal. I already had the album, "One" and digitized it on my computer, and I had lost "Intervals" somewhere in the 80's.

I do have a music blog, if you wish to stop by & chack it out. It's over at so feel free to stop by and download what you see on the blog.

Oh by the way, I'm gonna be uploading Ahmad Jamal's 1980 Motown release, "Night Song" sometime soon, so if you don't have that album, you can download it from me at any time :)

Take care, and thanks again.

- Mike

Anonymous said...

This is just amazing. Thanks for all of your hard work preserving a national treasure

J Reid said...

word up

Anonymous said...

Thanks Simon.
Gostei do post. Continue com o seu ótimo trabalho de difusão da boa música.