Good morning, Hoddlers! Our intrepid Hoddler in Chief, Fitzie, is still the process of moving to Washington, so you get me for another day.
Continuing on the Hoddle topic from Friday, we’re still talking jazz. I mentioned Ahmad Jamal as one of the perhaps lesser-known jazz artists active in the early 1960s that have really captured my ear lately. I love researching the artists that catch my attention, and Jamal, who is still active as a performer, is one of the jazz pianists who never quite made it to international superstardom but nevertheless was very influential to other jazzers.
One of the hallmarks of Jamal’s style, at least in his early recordings was his sparse, almost spartan pianism. Jamal can shred, but he usually doesn’t — his playing is restrained, almost sparse at times, and to me it’s interesting how he allows the notes that he doesn’t play speak as loudly as the ones he does. It’s an interesting melding of sound and silence, where timing speaks as loudly as virtuosic runs and the piano, while central, doesn’t have to fill every moment of a track to be impactful, musically. Ironically, this meant that Jamal was mostly ignored or dismissed by the jazz critics of the 1960s, but more recently he’s been praised as the innovator that he very much was and is. Miles Davis spoke about how much of an impact Jamal had on his own music. He was a true jazzer’s jazzer. And because he’s less well known, I’ve been able to find almost his entire catalog used on vinyl, mostly for cheap.
I could have chosen any number of tracks for the song of the day, but I’m going with Jamal’s biggest hit from his biggest record — “Poinciana,” a song from the 1930s which has gone on to become a jazz standard and Jamal’s signature song. It really does show the understanded impact of his playing and how you don’t have to rip the ivory off the keys to craft an incredible jazz sound.
Song of the Day: “Poinciana” — Ahmad Jamal, Live from the Pershing: But Not for Me
Your Daily Links
Eddie Nketiah signed a new contract at Arsenal.
Goal has a deep dive on now (mostly) forgotten former Tottenham player Adel Taraabt.
MLS has signed a $2.5b streaming deal with Apple TV that could revolutionize the soccer media landscape in the USA.
Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly has signaled that the era of crazy, unlimited spending at the Blues is now over.