Review and photographs by Albert Brooks
On this the last evening before April’s arrival, there was absolutely no fooling around at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. The eminent, inestimably talented pianist Ahmad Jamal was on hand and displayed a mastery of touch, dynamics, lyricism, organizational, harmonic and metric control that was beyond breathtaking!
Leading a veritable A-team of rhythm mates (Herlin Riley, Reginald Veal and Manolo Badrena), Jamal introduced the audience to the inventively creative new treatment he has given such classics as “Laura,” “Invitation” and “Woody’n You,” not to mention the captivating re-creation of the title song of his new CD, “Blue Moon,” among others.
As someone has aptly said, “Ahmad Jamal is at the peak of his art. Formerly a highly talented pianist of a genre called jazz, he is now the chief apostle of the American Classical Music.”
Yes, there was no fooling around on this beautiful evening, culminating in the gracious company of “Poinciana.”
Albert Brooks’ additional photographs from the concert can be seen at Albany Jazz.