Ahmad Jamal

The great Ahmad Jamal, RIP. I've been revisiting his recordings at length for a few days. His playing is so singular and a certain lightness and "charm" - for lack of a better term - permeates his music, even at it's most gritty and dense. I've always loved his choice of grooves, too: those Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Latin pulses, not to mention some of the most bouyant swing recorded. Considered a "jazz" pianist, he did not consider himself strictly a "jazz" musician, but rather, preferring the term "classisist", like Ellington. Miles Davis once proclaimed Jamal as his sole source of inspiration. So, if you don't think you dig jazz, you might begin an exploration with this man's beautiful music, particularly with his most recognized hit, "Poinciana". I absolutely dig the Live at the Pershing version.