Anyone else bought this (much praised) album? Thoughts? The sleve note claims it's a return to Ahmad's Impulse days (e.g "Awakening") but it seems to me to be a lot less focused and subtle. But, a bit of a grower and would prob. appeal to young people. Like Ian. With its youthful rocky 2012 beat and catchy tunes.
"The veteran octogenarian pianist Ahmad Jamal has been playing an abundance of gigs in recent times, and this album acts as a timely documentation of his current working band. The sessions were recorded late last year in New York City, with Jamal’s stable quartet line-up. Bassman James Cammack might be missing, but Reginald Veal is now shoeing in seamlessly.
Strangely, Herlin Riley’s brutally cracking drum contributions ram home a straight-ahead rock-style beat for much of the duration, and Manolo Badrena’s highly dramatic percussion can sometimes be rather disconcerting. Maybe this is a trick of the mix, a quirk of the production, as when this very combo are caught live, that same aspect isn’t particularly noticeable: the quartet is usually comprised of equal voices. The most extreme example of this recorded tendency arrives with This Is the Life, as the snare hits with an alarming insistency, the two factions within the quartet sounding like they’re in a warring stand-off. The leader himself is, contrastingly, flying unfettered across the entire space, the epitome of improvisatory freedom… an abstract octopus.
This all sounds more like the new Robert Glasper album than the new Robert Glasper album itself. Jamal’s particular combination here is like the work of a much younger player, in tune with a co-existent funk-improv expression. Such is the vitality of his effervescent trinkles, his mellifluous showers." ~ from the BBC Review.