Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Khan Jamal - Cool (Porter Records, 1989, 2008)

One of the more interesting reissue projects of the past few years has been the Porter Records catalog documenting the Philadelphia jazz scene in the 1970's and 80's. This album brings together vibraphonist Kahn Jamal with Warren Ore on bass, John Rogers on cello and Dwight Jones on drums. The combination of the two string instruments and two percussion instruments makes for a unique and interesting sound. I found the the upbeat tracks to be the most exciting, because of Jamal's dynamic approach to his instrument. Rhythm is the focus and vibes and drums lock into forceful grooves on "Professor B.L.," "Six Plus Seven," and the appropriately named "Rhythm Thang." The mellower tracks work as well, with the cello and bass taking center stage and the metallic sounding vibes the accents. This was an interesting album from an often overlooked musician. The musicians meld jazz, modern classical music and a lot of rhythm to intoxicating effect.
Cool -

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