A sublime release from legendary jazzman Ahmad Jamal; this album was a tribute to both his mother as well as to his hometown of Pittsburgh. Originally released by Atlantic in 1990, the album was well received by both critics and the general public climbing all the way to #5 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
Personnel: Ahmad Jamal (piano), James Cammack (bass), David Bowler (drums).
Recorded at Universal Studios, Chicago, Illinois.
All songs written by Ahmad Jamal except "Mellowdrama" (Jimmy Heath).
Personnel: Ahmad Jamal (piano); Ahmad Jamal; David Bowler (drums).
Audio Mixer: Bob Bennett.
Liner Note Author: Ahmad Jamal.
Recording information: Universal Studios, Chicago, IL.
On Pittsburgh, an ambitious tribute to his late mother and his hometown, Ahmad Jamal enlists the help of Chicago-based arranger Richard Evans -- a more familiar presence in soul-jazz's '60s heyday than in 1989, alas -- to decorate five of his compositions and Jimmy Heath's "Mellowdrama," while soloing alone on two others. While Jamal can summon forth all of the bravura resources of his piano technique on pieces like "Foolish Ways" and "Divertimento," he often chooses economy instead, relying on the trademark ostinatos of his rhythm section (James Cammack on bass; David Bowler on drums) for momentum. Evans' orchestrations, always elegant and lean, fit like gloves onto Jamal's compositions, enhancing rather than intruding, often following the contours of the melodic lines. This CD has captured both the character and the shaping hand of Jamal and the distinct sound of Evans, and they are a perfect match in this at-times-exquisite piece of work. ~ Richard S. Ginell