Ahmad Jamal

Today is the 81st birthday of jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, who released his first recording in 1951 and whose 2009 album A Quiet Time received the most radio airplay in 2010.

If I could write about music like Stanley Crouch, I’d have written this:

A signal aspect of his talent [is] Jamal’s ability to so skillfully combine the fleet and the fluid with the spare and the suggestive that each stylistic reference was an immediate event or part of a form, not just a manner of phrasing or attack.

Jamal’s best-known piece is probably Poinciana, but my own favorite is his version of Stolen Moments, which, for me, conjures images of mid-century Manhattan like no other song.


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Filed under Birthdays, Music

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