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“Sound more like Ahmad Jamal,” jazz legend Miles Davis allegedly instructed pianist Wynton Kelly when recording the track “Freddie Freeloader” for Miles’ album Kind of Blue. That’s quite a compliment from Davis, especially considering that the Pittsburgh-born Jamal has said he first began playing at 3, when his Uncle Lawrence challenged him to duplicate his piano playing. Jamal did, note-for-note. Now, at age 77, Jamal has garnered similar acknowledgments from contemporary hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z, Common, and Nas, who have used samples of his work. Such praise might not sound the same as it does coming from Davis, but—like “Freddie Freeloader”—the songs themselves have certainly benefited from sounding more like Ahmad Jamal. Jamal performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $30. (202) 337-4141.