Jazz Legend Ahmad Jamal to Play in Bengaluru in July
The pianist, a contemporary of the likes of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker is slated to perform at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall
Ahmad Jamal, the legendary pianist and composer, and one of the greatest jazz innovators of all time, will fly down to India on July 5th this year, to play a concert Â at the Bengaluru’s Chowdiah Memorial Hall. Jamal, who is 83, but still continues to perform, will take a break from his summer tour of France and Belgium for his India date. A contemporary of the likes of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, Jamal was one of the early proponents of Â ”˜cool jazz,’Â the relaxed, improvisational style of playing that emerged in the 1950s as a counter to frenzied bebop sound, Â and transformed the genre forever. Â Jamal is known to have been a great influence on Miles Davis, who often played his compositions. In a career spanning six decades, the prolific composer has put out more than 60 albums and nine compilations. His most recent album Saturday Morning came out last year, while his 2012 album Blue Moon was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Jazz Instrumental category.
At the Pershing: But Not For Me, which came out of his live show at the Pershing Hotel in New York Â in 1958, is one of the best selling jazz albums of all time, having sold more than a million copies. It also yielded his best known song “Poinciana,” his version of the 1936 Buddy Bernier-Nat Simon hit. “Poinciana” has been a recurring theme in Jamal’s career. He had a 1963 album called Poinciana, and then an album in 1968 called Ahmad Jamal at the Top: Poinciana Revisited and yet again, one in 2008 called Poinciana ”“ One Night Only. Clint Eastwood, a big fan of Jamal’s, used “Poinciana” (along with another Jamal composition “Music Music Music” from the album But Not For Me) in his 1995 hit film Bridges of Madison County.Â Â Â
Â Jamal’s Bengaluru show is quite a mystery among those involved with the jazz scene in the city, though it is Â prominently up in the schedule on Jamal’s website. There is no news of the show’s promoter either. What is known Â however is thatÂ the composer has been lured to India for a considerable fee. There is also talk about some changes being made to sections of the Chowdiah Memorial Hall on the request of Jamal’s management. There seem to have been some enquiries about having him play in Mumbai as well, but nothing seems to have worked out as yet because of the exorbitant fee that the promoters are demanding.