Ahmad Jamal (born July 2, 1930 as Frederick Russell Jones) is an innovative and influential American jazz pianist, composer, and educator. According to Stanley Crouch, Jamal is second in importance in the development of jazz after 1945 only to Charlie Parker. For five decades, he has been one of the most successful small-group leaders in jazz. Since the 1980s Jamal has been regularly touring the major clubs of the United States and the large European jazz festivals. He is generally accompanied by bassist James Cammack and drummer Idris Muhammad. He has also performed regularly with saxophonist George Coleman.