At the age of 88, composer and legendary jazz musician Ahmad Jamal presents Ballades, an album that sees him returning to his roots in a transcendent journey. Jamal comes from the closely-knit club of the great masters of jazz. That is why, in the manner of Coltrane and Miles, he goes back to his past as a way to overcome it. At its heart, Ballades is a solo piano album - something Jamal has never done before (double-bass player James Cammack is featured on three tracks). The music is art in its purest form, ranging from the iconic ''Poinciana'' to the symbolic ''Marseille.'' Ballades is a new masterpiece in this artist's long and distinguished career.