Ahmad Jamal's Pianism Remains Wondrous
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Featured fan Review!Ahmad Jamal in St Louis, 3/30/19, by Suzanne Rhodenbaugh:”Jamal! — Masterful. As soon as he touches the piano you know he’s the master and that’s it. He’s a small man, almost delicate, and a handsome man, and I love the way he moves when he’s playing. He sways his upper body part of the time, almost like a slow shiver, and sometimes raises his right shoulder, which is somehow enthralling, and when there’s a beat he alternates the foot keeping the beat.He is generous with his fellow musicians — a base player, a drummer, and a guy who plays kettle drums (or tumbadoras?), maracas, (sp?), bells, etc. He sometimes points to one of them when he wants one to come in, and/or when he wants them to take the featured role. At one point, when the drummer was holding forth a long time, he turned around from the piano, folded his arms and grinned, as if to say, “Do I need to be here?”We’ve seen other musicians who were old, for whom we had to make allowances -... . But no allowance need be made for Ahmad Jamal. As far as I can tell, he’s still a powerhouse, but with the subtlety that comes from being a long master. When he first sat down at the piano, by the way, he noted that he’d first played in St. Louis 71 years ago. ...He strikes me as someone who would be kind and generous in daily life. He knows his skill and value, but is not a showboat. And he seems so pleased when the audience responds. All in all, a class act!”
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