Sessions for Ahmad Jamal’s ‘The Awakening’ began on this day, 2 Feb 1970. The playing by this trio—Ahmad Jamal-piano, Jamil Nasser-bass, and Frank Grant-drums—is superb. Jamal’s “second great trio” is a finely calibrated unit, brothers-of-the-road, with enough shared performance experience to make their interplay razor sharp. The trio’s interpretations of modern jazz standards like Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance” and Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments” are outstanding. In the latter case, they manage to fill the shoes of Nelson’s larger combo with confidence and style. Jamal’s two originals are exquisite. They are also a bridge between past and present, with “The Awakening” and “I Love Music” well-established in the world of hip-hop, including Jeru the Damaja’s “Me or the Papes,” Common’s “Resurrection,” and the well-known sample on “The World Is Yours” from Nas’s iconic ‘Illmatic.’ Many others have tapped ‘The Awakening’ for its rich veins of sample-worthy moments, which keep the magic of this album fresh for new generations. If you know it, I hope you love it as much as I do. If you’re not familiar with it, please dive in. Ahmad Jamal’s ‘The Awakening’ is the total package. Even the silence swings. This record needs a reissue on vinyl in a bad way—prices of previous pressings on the secondary market send the needle on the stupid-o-meter into the red zone.