Ahmad Jamal is an American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader who was born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He is considered one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century.
Jamal began playing piano at the age of three and was performing in public by the age of seven. In his early career, he played with jazz greats such as Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis.
In the 1950s, he formed his own trio, which included bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier.
Jamal’s music is characterized by his use of space and silence, as well as his innovative rhythmic and harmonic ideas. His playing style incorporates elements of bebop, swing, and classical music.
Some of Jamal’s most popular recordings include “Poinciana,” “But Not for Me,” and “Autumn Leaves.” His album “At the Pershing: But Not for Me” was a commercial success and helped to popularize jazz during the late 1950s.
Jamal has been recognized with numerous awards throughout his career, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
He continues to perform and record music to this day, and his influence on jazz continues to be felt around the world.
Jamal died of prostate cancer complications on April 16, 2023, at his home in Ashley Falls, Massachusetts. He was 92.
Ahmad Jamal Wife: Meet Laura Hess-Hay
Ahmad Jamal’s wife was Althea Gibson, who was a famous tennis player and the first Black person to win a Grand Slam title. Jamal and Gibson were married from 1958 until their divorce in 1972.
Ahmad Jamal is survived by his ex-wife and manager, Laura Hess-Hay. The love birds got married in 1982 but it’s not clear when they separated.