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Influential jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal has released a pair of archival albums

Ahmad Jamal, photographed during the Marciac Jazz Festival on Aug. 3, 2016 in Marciac, France.
Remy Gabalda
/
AFP via Getty Images
Ahmad Jamal, photographed during the Marciac Jazz Festival on Aug. 3, 2016 in Marciac, France.

With a style both sophisticated and sanctified, Ahmad Jamal is known for an artful use of space in his music, which goes hand in hand with his dramatic sense of tension and release. He stands as an inspiration to peers like Miles Davis and countless others — including scores of hip-hop fans, who know Jamal through a few iconic samples of his work.

Zev Feldman is a record producer who has become synonymous with the discovery of archival gems, including two new volumes of live performances from Jamal that find the pianist in his prime, between the years 1963-66, they've titled Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse. Together the recordings capture a jazz master at a dynamic peak, leading a succession of trios with a light touch but absolute command.

Jamal spoke to WRTI's Nate Chinen about the new archivial collection and the process of looking, sometimes, in the rear-view mirror.

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