Ahmad Jamal is one of jazz music's great innovators going back to the days of Miles and 'Trane. But don't lose sight of the fact that his current record Saturday Morning: La Buissonne Studio Sessions sounds as contemporary as any release you can name. This record features a razor sharp quartet playing bass, drums and percussion along with Ahmad on keys that played on Jamal's last record Blue Moon.
This latest release from the 83-year jazz giant demonstrates he is still the unassailable master of his craft, and shows no signs of retiring anytime soon. `Saturday Morning: La Buissonne Studio Sessions' was recorded in La Buissonne near Avignon, France and features the same quartet as 2012's `Blue Moon' ergo Reginald Veal on bass, Herlin Riley on drums and Manolo Badrena adding additional percussive flourishes to beef out the sound. In many ways BM & SM are companion albums, very much in the same style and with the same high production values.
Critic Stanley Crouch cites AHMAD JAMAL's impact on the fresh form in jazz as an outstanding conceptionalist. Crouch considers Mr. Jamal's distinctive style as having had an influence on the same level as "Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Theolonius Monk, Horace Silver and John Lewis, all thinkers whose wrestling with form and content influenced the shape and texture of the music, and whose ensembles were models of their music visions."
You can hear cuts from this record on WCLK. If you like it you can support WCLK by purchasing the Saturday Morning: La Buissonne Studio Sessions from Amazon via the link below.