Ahmad Jamal: Wave (1970)




Ahmad Jamal (piano)


The Awakening (Impulse IMP 12262)

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Ahmad Jamal (piano),

Jamil Nasser (bass), Frank Gant (drums)


Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim


Recorded: New York, February 2-3, 1970


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Ahmad Jamal didn’t take part in the bossa nova craze of the early '60s, so it may sound strange that he suddenly tackles a Jobim tune 10 years later. But the Pittsburgh-born pianist doesn’t treat it as a typical Brasilian song at all. The theme appears only after more a minute-long original intro based on a bass ostinato. Then Jamal repeats short parts of the melody, while varying the intensity of his touch, or mixes them with rhythmic vamps. It’s deconstruction at its best, with optimal effect.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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