Strathmore and Blues Alley Present Ahmad Jamal
5/1/2012, 12:41 p.m.
Renowned jazz pianist shares tracks from 2012 album Blue Moon, first recording in over three years
NORTH BETHESDA, MD - At 81, renowned jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal continues to build his stellar reputation as an intrepid and inventive virtuoso with the 2012 release of Blue Moon with original recordings and exciting interpretations of songs from classic film and Broadway. Jahmal will share this latest project for the first time in the D.C. area on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 8 p.m. in the Music Center at Strathmore. Says The Guardian (U.K.) of Blue Moon: "...this session looks set to be one of his classics." For more information or to purchase tickets, call (301) 581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
Jamal is a legend of jazz, known for his outstanding technical command and identifiable sound as a piano stylist, as well as his sophisticated ensemble interplay, achieved by treating his quartet, musically, like an orchestra. His stylistic approach to conducting musicians has been met with wide acclaim; notes The Village Voice, "No musician has had a more profound effect on the orchestral approach to small groups in the last 35 years than Ahmad Jamal." The pianist-composer has been honored with the American Jazz Masters fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Arts and Letters, was named a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University and was voted into DownBeat's Reader's Poll Hall of Fame. However, Jamal's impact and credibility is best illustrated by fellow musicians such as Miles Davis, who cites Jamal as a primary influence: "All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal."
Blue Moon was released in February 2012 and is comprised of nine tracks. Each of the pieces showcase Jamal's creative reinvention of swing, provide a pretext for breathtaking melodies and showcase his unique relationship with his new working group. The recording "does a brilliant job of drawing together the various strands and styles he does so well" and is "from top to bottom...one very strong album" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).