To the horn Ivory tiger n _ Kenny Mathieson
.' considers the music of jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal.
Ahmad Jamal is one of the musicians who emerged unscathed from the often unﬂatteringjudgements in Miles Davis's controversial Autobiography. The praise conferred on him helped to stoke something of a revival of interest in Jamal’s work in the current decade, one which saw him make his long- overdue Scottish debut in 1993.
That was a long wait for a man who has been a major ﬁgure on the American jazz scene since the 50s. There has been a tendency in some quarters to view (and sometimes
dismiss) him ‘19 a rather bland Ahmad Jamal: can tickle the lvorles lint" the! Cf!
musician, with a style which bears too . .
much ofthe stamp of the cocktail and rolls off the litany of Pittsburgh His work has diversiﬁed over the
Clark Terry: long way trom St louls lounge for his own good. musicians with some pride - ‘Errol years, from the swing-based music of Trumpeter Clark Terry can look back His eoneens here (this will be his Garner, Art Blakey, Billy Eckstine, Roy the 50s through a more experimental on one of the most satisfying careers of third Visit, but his ﬁrst to Edinburgh) Eldridge, Earl Hines, George Benson, period during the avant-garde ferment any jazz musician. it has taken him have blown away many preconceptions Stanley Turrentine, all from of the 60s, to subsequent projects with from his home town of St Louis, where about his playing, and have conﬁrmed Pittsburgh.‘ electric instruments and symphonic he started out playing in dodgy bars, to his standing as an imnonnnt' higth He possesses that priceless ability to players. Now signed to Verve (his new venerated elder statesman of the music, inventive creator. He combines bring a fresh perspective to much- album. The Essence — Part 2. is out to highly resPCCWd bOth as a Player and as discipline and control with a more played tunes WhiCh is the trademark 0f coincide with his visit). Jamal remains an educator, an activity to which he unbunoned. high.energy strain in his all the great jazz artists. He is most a jazzman at hetm, a title he refuses to brings heartfelt commitment. He playing. but he is unhappy at any closely associated with the trio format. see as restrictive. celebrated his 75th birthday at the end nnemnt to place him in stylistic pigeon- and will be heard in a slightly expanded ‘As far as I am concerned. jazz is of last year. but shows no inclination to holes. version ofthat in Edinburgh, with American classical music, and the jazz hang up his horns. oln jazz. we have these expressions bassist Jamil Nasser. lsrael Yoron on musician is a superior animal,‘ he says. ‘There is no age limit on how long uinsiden and nontsiden‘ but 1 don't drums, and the extra colour and ‘The person sitting at the first violin
you can play trumpet. As long as you relate to those terms. I play insidev rhythmic subtelty provided by desk playing Beethoven and Mozart in can make a pucker and control the air outside and a" around. if you want to percussionist Manolo Badrena. a symphony orchestra is one- column, then you can get out and play use those terms _ 1 pins, abstract and I ‘My trios have been greatly emulated dimensional iii a way that a jazz for the people. Being able to entertain play straight ahead. 1 am drawing on a over the years - we set a model in the musician is not. You‘re not gonna ﬁnd is very important — I always try to pass lot of areas of mnsie. and I play in way that Nat King Cole’s early a Wynton Marsalis in any symphonic on to students and young musicians the every context} instrumental trio set a model for me. brass section in the world. but he could importance of remembering that when Jamal hails from phtshurgh. n [own he Trio may well be the Rolls-Royce sit there and play what they play any you’re on stage, you're entertaining. describes as opposed to hnes of musical among my vehicles, but I‘ve had many day, They couldn‘t start to get up and It's your responsibility to give people a demarcation. He recalls selling Other VethleS 118 well. from quartets do what he does.‘ good time, and if you don’t want to do newspapers to Bill), Stmyhomvs family and quintets through to big bands and Ahmad Jamal plays The Queen '3 Hall. that, you may as well rent a studio and When he was seven or eight years old, Symphony OFChc-Stmso’ litli'nlnngh. on Fri 25 ()(‘L
Clark's career encompasses a variety 0; sCettings. He played i: the big bands no | M “ id i t o ount Basic and Du e Ellington, — se mg. n a i on, v eo mages o became the ﬁrst black musician to be complement the piece will be put on salary by the NBC television screened as it progresses.
network in New York, and has led his ‘What lender has done,’ says iiinian
own groups, both large and small. He Perry ‘is to create a score around
was a pioneer in jazz education. and Schubert’s piece. Some ot his scoring remains a seminal ﬁgure in that ﬁeld. o is almost Brahms, a lot sounds very ‘Something becomes embedded in
like Mahler, and there’s Berg too and you. a desire to stay involved and impart to youth some of the secrets as
even Stockhausen, all of whom were schooled in the Viennese tradition. It’s far as our craft is concerned. Just an extraordinary kaleidoscope of through appreciating that the game has lied George Square, Meritories, different compositional styles or been good to you, and you want to put Echoing Landscapes and Winterreise people since Schubert who were something back into it. It keeps you are lust a few or the somewhat inﬂuenced by his incredible Iieder alert and young. It keeps you trying.’ intriguing names given to Paragon writing.’ He was also one of the ﬁrst players to Ensemble?» concerts 8 it launch“ its develop the potential of the ﬂugelhom new winter season. To start things on,
The instrumentation calls tor 24 players, but a lot more instruments as as a jazz instrument. Unlike many of the latter “flown” “'33 "3 ""9 his generation, he has worked from Schubert’s settings or 24 poems
the wind section are all doubling. ‘There’s marimba, vibes, thunder
productively with players or subsequent collectively known as pie Winterreise, 4"- ' sheets, accordion, guitar, harp - generations. including such apparently or winter journey. It is not pure "m,,ngg'mmmg':kggfggfogg everything bar the kitchen sink, unlikely collaborators as Cecil Taylor Schubert, lIWBVOT, but the German really,’ says linian POT". Opening the and Omette Coleman, as wen as composer Ilans lender’s1930s Exploiting its dramatic and theatrical programme is Sally Beamish’s A Book contributing to Thelonious Monk's reinterpretation of the cycle as qualities, the soloist - tenor Ian of Seasons, in which, In keeping with classic Brit/inn, comers album, dramatic music theatre. ‘It’s an Thompson - will be kitted out in the winter theme, you can almost hear ' (Kenny Mathieson) outstanding piece, very exciting,’ says appropriate costume, possibly looking the icicles dripping as the leaves Clark Terry's American Quintet play Paraoon’s Emunltv “"03"” something like Schubert, while untold. (Carol Main)
Mitchell Theatre. Glasgow. Thurs 3/ ,° “"99"”: with“ ’9'”, ‘3'“. this WI" I” Paragon’s new Glasgow venue, the Paragon Ensemble, Tron Theatre, Queen '3 Hall. Edinburgh, Fri 1; Music the ﬁrst "in. “’8 000“ Performed In ‘I’ron Theatre, will facilitate the right Glasgow, Tue 22; Macnoberr Centre, Hail, Aberdeen, 5m 2, _ Scotland'. sort of lighting and atmospheric stage Sliding, Wed 23.
42 The List 18-31 Oct I996