The jazz pianist uses his new record to recall works of yesteryear and simultaneously illustrate his new sense of direction. Jamal isn't playing the way he did 60 years ago, now that he's finished warming up.
The grainy, blurry portrait of Ran Blake on the cover of his album, Driftwoods, looks like spirit photography: the pianist as ghostly presence. His playing can be spooky, too. The CD radically transforms popular vocal standards from Billie Holiday, Hank Williams, Quincy Jones and more.