Like all great jazz masters, Ahmad Jamal plays music that feels both timeless and utterly of the moment. The pianist’s orchestral approach to small ensemble playing influenced generations of bandleaders, including trumpeter Miles Davis, who claimed Jamal as an inspiration: “He knocked me out with his concept of space, his lightness of touch, his understatement.” Jamal’s piano style unites expansive lyricism and trenchant grooves, and his repertoire draws on original tunes and surprisingly fresh interpretations of well-loved standards. In all, a Mondavi Center debut that is long overdue!
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