It’s not unusual for jazz artists to have a late-career renaissance, even one that – Claude Monet-style – demands a reassessment of everything that went before.
The pianist Ahmad Jamal, now 83, is currently on such a roll: his previous album, Blue Moon, was followed by a Barbican concert earlier this year that led to widespread accusations of genius. Indeed, Jamal was greeted as perhaps the greatest jazz musician left alive, which is rich, because highbrow critics have been dissing him as too showbiz since the 1950s. Needless to say, he was great then, and he’s still great now. Saturday Morning closely echoes Blue Moon, using the same band and a repertoire that allows Jamal to demonstrate his orchestral approach to the piano and inimitable sense of swing.