Cross Country Tour: 1958-1961
This two-CD set has highlights from pianist Ahmad Jamal's famous trio dates for Argo, with selections drawn from At the Pershing, At the Pershing Vol. 2, Portfolio of Ahmad Jamal, Alhambra, and At the Blackhawk, plus one selection only out before in a sampler. It is a pity that the five valuable albums were not reissued in full on a three-CD set, for these were among the most important recordings of Jamal's career. His trio (with bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier) had a unique sound, utilizing close communication and dynamics to an extraordinary degree. "Poinciana" was a huge hit, and other highlights included on this twofer include "But Not for Me," "Cherokee," "Billy Boy," "This Can't Be Love" and "Falling In Love With Love." Although easily recommended as an introduction to this classic group, the preferred complete sessions will hopefully appear on CD someday too.