Jazz veteran and pianist Ahmad Jamal released Ballades last Friday, a new album he recorded between takes for his 2017 LP, Marseille.
Though it’s named after a term for a piece of music penned predominantly for piano in a romantic style with dramatic elements, Ballades is a more intimate listen. It offers listeners an unadulterated experience of Jamal’s talent as most of its tracks are solo recordings, though his longtime collaborator and bassist James Cammack also appears on three songs.
One standout track is Jamal’s solo version of “Poinciana,” the original version of which “remains one of the most successful recordings in the history of instrumental music, and one of the most plagiarized,” the 89-year-old pianist wrote on his website.
Listen to Ballades here: