One of the most individualistic pianists, composers, and arrangers of his generation, Ahmad Jamal's disciplined technique and minimalist style had a huge impact on trumpeter Miles Davis, and Jamal is often cited as contributing to the development of cool jazz throughout the 1950s. Though he was an excellent, technically proficient player well-versed in the gymnastic idioms of swing and bebop, he chose to play in a pared-down and nuanced style. Which is to say that while he played with the skill of a virtuoso, it was often what he chose not to play that marked him as an innovator. Influenced by pianists Errol Garner, Art Tatum, and Nat King Cole, as well as big-band and orchestral music, Jamal developed his own boundary-pushing approach to modern jazz that incorporated an abundance of space, an adept use of tension and release, unexpected ...
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