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Ahmad Jamal: Forward Momentum

By Published: July 6, 2010
AAJ: I remember there was tremendous excitement when you played London in '96, or maybe '97, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall because it was the first time you'd played London for something like 33 years; why did you stay away from London for all those years?

AJ: I stayed away from Europe. The last time was in '63 with the master Hampton Hawes
Hampton Hawes
Hampton Hawes
1928 - 1977
. I wouldn't have gone back, but for Jean-Francois Deiber, one of the great people in my life. He owned Birdology Records, whom I recorded for. He persuaded me to come back.

AAJ: Why did you stay away from Europe all that time?

AJ: I was never a touring musician. I'm not a migratory bird. I don't like to travel. I'm a home person. I'm touring now more than I've ever done; I'm just did a tour of Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, France...I'm happy to be home. My favorite venue is home, and has been all my life.

AAJ: You've influenced a large number of pianists, some well documented like Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
, Brad Mehldau and Jacky Terrasson
Jacky Terrasson
Jacky Terrasson
; would you say that this is your greatest musical legacy?

AJ: I have to leave that to the historians and the public and the journalists. How can I sit and think about my legacy? I'm always going forward. I don't think about what I have done but what I have yet to do.

Selected Discography

Ahmad Jamal, A Quiet Time (Dreyfus Jazz, 2010)

Ahmad Jamal, It's Magic (Dreyfus Jazz, 2008)

The Ahmad Jamal Trio, Pavanne for Ahmad (FiveFour, 2007)

The Ahmad Jamal Trio, Complete Recordings (Definitive Records, 2006)

Ahmad Jamal, After Fajr (Dreyfus Jazz, 2004)

Shirley Horn, May the Music Never End (Verve, 2003)

Ahmad Jamal, In Search of Momentum (Dreyfus Jazz, 2003)

Ahmad Jamal, Olympia 2000 (Dreyfus Jazz, 2000)

Ahmad Jamal, Ahmad Jamal with The Assai Quartet (Roesch,1998)

Ahmad Jamal, The Essence Part 1 (Dreyfus Jazz, 1995)

Ray Brown, Some of my Friends are Piano Players (Telarc, 1995)

Ahmad Jamal, Rossiter Road (Collectables Records, 1986)

Ahmad Jamal, Live at Bubba's (Who's Who in Jazz, 1980)

Ahmad Jamal, Jamalca (20th Century, 1974)

Ahmad Jamal, Outertimeinnerspace (Impulse!, 1972)

Ahmad Jamal,The Awakening (Impulse!, 1970)

Ahmad Jamal,Extensions (Impulse!, 1965)

Ahmad Jamal,Cross Country Tour 1958-1961 (Argo, 1962)

Ahmad Jamal,Ahmad Jamal At the Pershing (Argo, 1958)

Ahmad Jamal,But Not For Me (Argo, 1958)

Ahmad Jamal,Chamber Music of the New Jazz (Argo, 1955)

Ahmad Jamal,The Three Strings (Epic/Legacy, 1951)

Photo credits

Page 6: C. Andrew Hovan

All Other Photos: Courtesy of Ahmad Jamal

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