i've always heard that ahmad jamal is great and miles likes him, etc, etc.  anyways, i read that his all-time classic album is live at the pershing, a recording of his then regular hotel gig.  

i'm part way through listening to it, and i really don't get why it's so revered.  every track so far seems to follow the same pattern: right hand only melody over bass and drums, some more right hand trinkle-ing in the upper register (mostly little figures that he repeats several times each), some driving middle-register block chords with both hands, possibly some more trinkling in the upper register, and a restatement of the melody.  

now, was ahmad so revolutionary because he had the open texture instead of a stride or driving bop sound?  because by today's (or even bop era) standards it's pretty tame and predictable.  i'm giving him some credit that he had to "smooth" it out somewhat for the swank hotel audience, but still.  for the moment, i'll still take red garland and horace silver any day.  

does anyone else share my opinion?  or have reason for me to reverse it?
There are 4 comments, leave a comment.
i'm about to go to bed, but hopefully will post back here tomorrow. maybe i can provide some reasons for you to at least look at it again, and maybe you'll find some new things you like about it.

to me, that era of ahmad is some of the most revolutionary and creative piano playing, ever. a quiet revolution, of course, but a very, very free and unique conception of form and arrangement. also, extremely swinging, tasteful, and a lot of textural variety. he plays like a composer.
don't worry ziggysane your not the only one!!! you either get it or you don't and you wont get everyone!!!
an orchestral approach to the keyboard, immaculate taste and restraint, use of dynamic and textural contrast, flashes of brilliance rather than sustained fast licks, doesn't show off or play too many notes, really uses space to maximum effect.  

check out "poinciana" - not only aj, but how the bass (israel crosby) and drums (vernell fournier) fit in with the groove. that drum pattern with the ride cymbal on 2 and 4 is a classic - and not easy to nail!
aj is one of my favs of all time.  i find when an artist is talked about by everyone you can usualy consider it a safe investment of time to check them out.  however one persons favorite recording might be someone elses least favorite.  for example i am a huge fan of john coltranes work.  in fact it is hard to explain how many hours i have spent listening and trying to play his work.  yet so many swear by his  
a love supreme"  recording... if that was the only recording i listened to i would still not be a fan today.... i like almost all his other recordkings more.
   point being check out ohter aj recordings.... one of my favs is "digital works"...  anything that has a straight accoustic trio version of "wave" on it.
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