Ahmad Jamal, pianist, composer, July 2, 1930-April 18, 2023
With Israel Crosby (1919-1962, bass), Vernel Fournier (1928-2000, drums), live (TV show), 1959
“Darn That Dream” (J. Van Heusen, E. DeLange)
“Ahmad’s Blues” (A. Jamal)
From the New York Times obituary (4/16/23):
Bebop pianists, following the lead of Bud Powell, became known for their virtuosic flurries of notes. Mr. Jamal chose a different path, which proved equally influential.
The critic Stanley Crouch wrote that bebop’s founding father, Charlie Parker, was the only musician “more important to the development of fresh form in jazz than Ahmad Jamal.”
In his early years, Mr. Jamal listened not just to jazz, which he preferred to call “American classical music,” but also to classical music of the non-American variety.
“We didn’t separate the two schools,” he told The New York Times in 2001. “We studied Bach and Ellington, Mozart and Art Tatum. When you start at 3, what you hear you play. I heard all these things.”
Probably the best-known musician to cite Mr. Jamal as an influence was not a pianist but a trumpeter and bandleader: Miles Davis, who became close friends with Mr. Jamal, recorded his compositions and arrangements and would bring his sidemen to see Mr. Jamal perform. He once said, “All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal.”
Gal Costa, singer, September 26, 1945–November 9, 2022
“Sua Estupidez” (R. Carlos), live (TV show), 2002
Gal Costa, one of Brazil’s greatest singers and a model for generations of Brazilian performers, died on Wednesday at her home in São Paulo. She was 77.
Her death was announced on her social media accounts. No cause was cited.
Ms. Costa’s voice, a lustrous mezzo-soprano, was a marvel of grace and vitality, equally capable of gravity-defying delicacy, tart teasing, jazzy agility and rock intensity. Over a recording career that spanned more than 50 years and three dozen albums, she championed innovative Brazilian songwriters and cross-fertilized Brazilian regional styles with international pop and rock.
In the 1960s, Ms. Costa was at the forefront of tropicália, the movement that brought psychedelic experimentation and anti-authoritarian irreverence to Brazilian pop music. When the leading songwriters of tropicália, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, were forced into exile by Brazil’s dictatorship, from 1969 to 1972, Ms. Costa recorded their songs for Brazilian listeners.
—New York Times obituary (excerpt), 11/9/22 (Jon Pareles)