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Saturday Morning

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iTunes Review

In his 80s, with 60 recordings to his name, Ahmad Jamal returns with a new set that's heavy on originals with a few standards mixed in. Here with bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Herlin Riley, and percussionist Manolo Bradena, the pianist opens the album with the surprisingly disjointed “Back to the Future.” Things are more in the pocket from then on; album highlights include the title track and “Firefly,” which are two of several bebop tunes that mine Latin clave. “Silver”—a standout original named in tribute to Horace Silver—has a strong groove propelled by an earthy piano line that Silver would have been proud to write. Best known for his elegant playing, Jamal also honors the always-elegant Duke Ellington with a cover of “I’ve Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good,” with licks from other Ellington tunes tossed in for good measure. This is a fine addition to the master’s catalog.


Born: July 2, 1930 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most individualistic pianists, composers, and arrangers of his generation, Ahmad Jamal's disciplined technique and minimalist style had a huge impact on trumpeter Miles Davis, and Jamal is often cited as contributing to the development of cool jazz throughout the 1950s. Though Jamal was a highly technically proficient player, well-versed in the gymnastic idioms of swing and bebop, he chose to play in a more pared down and nuanced style. Which is to say that while he played with the skill...
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Saturday Morning, Ahmad Jamal
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 09, 2013

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