Posted by: Michael | 02/10/2007

Ahmad Jamal and Massapequa

When I was a kid, 14, I discovered in the Massapequa Public Library Ahmad Jamal’s Penthouse. I loved it; I loved the play between the strings and Jamal’s piano. Then I moved from Massapequa and the album became somewhat a myth for me. I was fearful of tracking it down; that it would not hold up and I’d lose memory.

Years later, close to 45 years later, I read a statement by Miles Davis on how he loved Jamal’s playing. Then I went on Ebay and bought Penthouse and several other early Jamal albums.

They hold up; my memory is in tact. I love listening to Ray Crawford, the guitarist on several of his albums. The first time I listened I thought there was a bongo player on the album but not listed; then I read about Crawford’s banging on the guitar; it’s great.

About two years ago I went and saw Jamal live at the Iridium. I wish I had stayed for both sets.

I had a discussion with the piano player at the Four Seasons in San Francisco. He believed that Jamal was now playing too many notes. He liked early Jamal much more than the present day Jamal. Yes Jamal is playing more notes; but ahh they are so fine.

Today’s images: a window with graffiti painted on it taken this summer; my wife’s arm taken about 1970; a sign in South Brooklyn, I loved that it only had the ‘R’.

[Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image]

Diane’s Arm

Graffitti on window

Sign with an ‘R’


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