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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Flashback: Jazz piano legend Ahmad Jamal performing at the Vienne, France, Jazz Festival in 2005

For those of you heading out to the Rhône valley in France this summer, you may want to check out the 29e festival Jazz à Vienne, about 60 km. north of Tain l'Hermitage by Peugeot, or similar vehicle.

Clint Eastwood featured two recordings from Ahmad Jamal's But Not For Me album — "Music, Music, Music" and "Poinciana" — in the 1995 movie The Bridges of Madison County. The latter track provides background for the scene in the kitchen (set in 1965) where Francesca and Robert discuss all matters urbane and personal, including their career choices and obsessions, which also brings them closer together, if you get what I mean.

As an aside (not to distract you from the main point here- romance is aided by a good background music choice) the date of the original recording was January 16, 1958 at Chicago's Pershing Club. The Ahmad Jamal trio featured Jamal on piano, Israel Crosby on bass, and Vernell Fournier on drums. In the following video, we see Ahmad, almost 50 years later!, at the festival Jazz à Vienne, with a different set of musicians-- accompanied this time by drums legend Idris Muhammad and James Cammack on bass.

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