Daniel Leutenegger, Rathausgasse 18, CH-3011 Bern, www.ch-cultura.ch

Daniel Leutenegger
Rathausgasse 18
CH-3011 Bern



17.04.2023 Der am 2. Juli 1930 in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) als Frederick Russell Jones geborene Jazz-Pianist, Komponist und Arrangeur Ahmad Jamal (Bild) ist am 16. April 2023 in Ashley Falls (Massachusetts) gestorben. 1952 trat er dem Ahmadiyya-Islam bei. Ahmad Jamal verfügte über eine individuelle Stilistik, Komponier- und Spielweise; für den weltberühmten Trompeter Miles Davis war er die "grösste Inspiration."

Bild: Ahmad Jamal, 2011 - Foto: Jens Vajen (Ausschnitt) - Lizenz: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en - Datei: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ahmad_Jamal_beim_Palatia_Jazz_Festival_in_Bad_D%C3%BCrkheim_am_21.7.2011.jpg

Ahmad Jamal, Influential Jazz Pianist Dies at 92

Renowned for a light touch that favored lyricism over a barrage of notes — in contrast to the heady, sometimes hectic sound of bebop that ruled when he began playing as a teen in the 1940s — Jamal sought to create more space with a style that has been credited as one of the most admired in the genre’s history.

Gil Kaufman


Musician influenced generations of artists across genres for seven decades

He influenced myriad artists from the jazz world and beyond, including trumpeter Miles Davis to pianists McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, Bill Charlap, and Matthew Shipp. He eschewed genre boundaries, too, as he did in 1970, with his electric keyboard rendition of Johnny Mandel’s theme for “M*A*S*H.”

As hip-hop producers began to plumb the depths of jazz catalogs, a new generation of fans discovered Jamal through a slew of ingenious samples from DJ Premier (Gang Starr’s “Soliloquy of Chaos,”) Pete Rock (M.O.P.’s “Stick to Ya Gunz”) and Ski (Jay-Z’s “Feelin’ It”), among many others. In 1996, J Dilla famously sampled Jamal’s 1974 song “Swahililand” to craft the title track for De La Soul’s “Stakes Is High.”)  

Althea Legaspi


Ahmad Jamal, Whose Spare Style Redefined Jazz Piano, Dies at 92

He was known for his laid-back style and for his influence on, among others, Miles Davis, who once said, “All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal.”

Eric Grode


Ahmad Jamal, jazz pianist with a spare, hypnotic touch, dies at 92

Ahmad Jamal, whose taut, spare and rhythmically supple approach to jazz piano influenced generations of other musicians who embraced his less-is-more dynamics, died April 16 at his home in Ashley Falls, Mass. (…) In a professional career that began at 14 in his native Pittsburgh, Mr. Jamal proved over seven decades to be a musician of ceaseless growth and invention, a minimalist, classicist and modernist who sought to erase distinctions among musical genres. He was also, in the 1950s, among the first African American performers who publicly adopted the Muslim faith.

Gene Seymour


Ahmad Jamal, a pianist, composer and arranger whose innovative, chamber jazz style had a powerful impact on his contemporaries while gaining widespread popularity via such recordings as his bestselling interpretation of “Poinciana,” has died

The crisp, carefully tailored but deeply swinging arrangements he created for his trios of the 1950s and ‘60s had a long-term effect on the piano trio format as well as the individual work of other pianists, composers, arrangers and horn players.

“No single artist after the great alto saxophonist [Charlie Parker] has been more important to the development of fresh form in jazz than Ahmad Jamal,” wrote critic musician Stanley Crouch.

Don Heckman


Ahmad Jamal, measured maestro of the jazz piano, dies at 92

For most jazz performers, a song is part of a performance. For Ahmad Jamal, each song was a performance. Over the course of a remarkable eight-decade career, Jamal, who passed away Sunday at the age of 92, created stellar recordings both as an ambitious youth and a sagely veteran.

Martin Johnson


As an improvisationalist, Jamal was free before free jazz was a thing, and utilized repetition and ostinatos as some of his earliest signature touches.

A.D. Amorosi


Acclaimed jazz pianist who influenced Miles Davis

His laid-back approach quickly became influential and commercial success followed with his 1958 album "At the Pershing: But Not for Me" - one of the best-selling instrumental records of its time.

In a piece written last year to mark the release of some of his unissued recordings, the magazine the New Yorker wrote that in the 1950s, "his musical concept was one of the great innovations of the time, even if its spare, audacious originality was lost on many listeners".

Jamal's life long friend, the trumpeter Miles Davis, once said: "All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal."


Over a career spanning seven decades, musician was hailed for his ability to transcend genres 

Embarking on a professional music career from the age of 14, over seven decades Jamal forged a unique sound that leapt over genre boundaries. Minimalism, classical, modernism, pop: Ahmad was sometimes likened to Thelonious Monk in terms of his ability to innovate and influence other musicians: his piano would be sampled by the likes of De La Soul, Jay-Z, Common and Nas. The trumpeter Miles Davis once said: “All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal,” writing in his memoir that his friend had “knocked me out with his concept of space, his lightness of touch, and the way he phrases notes and chords and passages”.

Sian Cain


Jamal always preferred the term ‘American Classical Music’ to the word jazz, and his long creative life was recognised by an NEA American Jazz Masters Award, and then in 2017 a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. In later life he also retained a special affection for France, saying: “I worked exclusively with French record companies for twenty-five years or so, and in 2007 the French government awarded me the Order of Arts and Letters. France gave me a lot: both joie de vivre and respect for my music!”

Alyn Shipton


Muere a los 92 años el pianista Ahmad Jamal, penúltimo superviviente de la edad dorada del jazz

El músico, cuyo estilo minimalista y elegante gozó de un enorme éxito popular, ejerció gran influencia en Miles Davis y en los pioneros del ‘hip-hop’

Iker Seisdedos


Morto Ahmad Jamal, gigante del pianoforte jazz

Inizialmente sottovalutato dai critici, che lo consideravano poco più che un pianista da piano bar, nelle fasi più tarde della sua carriera Jamal si è trovato nella situazione opposta: poco conosciuto dal grande pubblico, è oggi riconosciuto dalla critica e dagli appassionati come un gigante del pianoforte jazz. La sua tecnica gli ha guadagnato i più svariati appellativi: '"Il profeta", "Il maestro", "L'architetto", "Ahmad il magnifico", "Il prestigiatore del piano", "L'uomo con due mani destre". Il suo stile misurato e scarno, definito "pianismo piacevole", è stato fonte di ispirazione per generazioni di musicisti, come Miles Davis e Keith Jarrett.


Mort du pianiste Ahmad Jamal, ses phrases suspendues

Le pianiste, interprète de génie au toucher et au phrasé exceptionnel, qui inspira Miles Davis et fut samplé par Nas ou Jay-Z, compositeur et chef d’orchestre, est mort dimanche 16 avril à l’âge de 92 ans.

Jacques Denis


La mort d’Ahmad Jamal, le pianiste américain qui inspira Miles Davis et Keith Jarrett

Avec son phrasé unique, son swing et ses deux mains parfaitement égales, il s’était affirmé dès les années 1950 comme un jazzman charismatique, avant de connaître une carrière avec des hauts et des bas.

Francis Marmande


Ein Meister der Leichtigkeit

Dieser bis heute unterschätzte Pianist prägte die Kunst des Jazztrios, begeisterte Miles Davis und inspirierte den Hip-Hop, während er seine Musik "American Classical Music" nannte.

Peter Kemper


Ein amerikanischer Klassiker

Der Jazz-Pianist Ahmad Jamal war in seinem Fokus auf Rhythmus und Stille Vorbild für Herbie Hancock und Keith Jarrett. Für den Hip-Hop eh.

Andrian Kreye


Meister funkelnder Konturenschärfe

Der Pianist Ahmad Jamal formte und erlebte eine Karriere, die sieben Jahrzente dauerte und in der er stets am Puls der Zeit blieb. Das ist eine immense Leistung. Und noch erstaunlicher ist sie, wenn man die ganz hohe Qualität des Klavierspiels von Ahmad Jamal in Rechnung stellt. Der von Miles Davis und vielen anderen großen Musikerkollegen bewunderte Musiker, der schon in ganz jungen Jahren einen markanten, von kantig klaren Bässen und einer ungemein griffigen Melodik gekennzeichneten eigenen Stil prägte, war eine der herausragenden Tastengrößen des Jazz. Und eine, die eigentlich noch viel berühmter über den Jazz hinaus hätte sein müssen.

Roland Spiegel


Sanfter Gigant

Ahmad Jamal erhielt zahlreiche Auszeichnungen, darunter 1997 einen NEA Jazz Masters Award, den französischen Ordre des Arts et des Lettres 2007 und einen Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award im Jahr 2017. Obwohl er nie einer der ganz großen Namen des Jazz besaß, zählte er viele zeitgenössische Jazzpianisten zu seinen Fans, aber auch Hip-Hop-Legenden wie Nas, De La Soul und Jay-Z, die seine Musik in den 1990er-Jahren sampelten.

2013 fragte ihn ein Reporter des "Guardian" nach der Inspiration hinter seinen eleganten Melodien: "Es ist ein göttliches Geschenk, das ist alles, was ich Ihnen sagen kann", war die Antwort "Wir erschaffen nicht, wir entdecken."


Miles Davis war sein grösster Fan

Der Jazzpianist Ahmad Jamal hatte ein Händchen für Kontraste – und ein Herz für Kollegen. Nachruf auf einen Nimmermüden.

Jodok Hess


Grosse Bögen, grosse Pausen

Der amerikanische Jazzpianist Ahmad Jamal hat den Jazz durch das reduzierte und umso prägnantere Spiel seines Trios bereichert.

Claus Lochbihler


Ahmad Jamal (links) und James Cammack, 2007 - Foto: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Vsb - Lizenz: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en - Datei: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ahmad_jamal.jpg

Bild: Ahmad Jamal (links) und James Cammack, 2007 - Foto: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Vsb - Lizenz: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en - Datei: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ahmad_jamal.jpg 

Audios / Videos:

Surrey With The Fringe On The Top (Live At The Pershing, Chicago, 1958)


Poinciana (Live At The Pershing, Chicago, 1958)


AHMAD JAMAL . Trio "Darn That Dream". 1959


The Awakening (1970)


AHMAD JAMAL . JAZZ Session 1971


Ahmad Jamal - Outertimeinnerspace live @ Montreux Jazz Festival, 1971


Ahmad Jamal - Poinciana - Olympia Paris - LIV


Ahmad Jamal - Autumn Leaves - Palais des Congrès Paris 2017 - LIVE HD


Ahmad Jamal: interview vidéo Qobuz


Ahmad Jamal - Interview - "American Classical Music". (HQ)

















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