Sunday, November 24, 2013

Abdullah Ibrahim - South Africa

Abdullah Ibrahim's spiritual and very melodic South African folk music is always worth hearing and his individuality remains quite impressive. This set, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, features the pianist (who also plays a bit of soprano and adds his emotional voice to the proceedings) with his longtime altoist Carlos Ward, bassist Essiet Okun Essiet, drummer Don Mumford and vocalist Johnny Classens. The music, dealing with themes related to South African life, is quite personal, unique and surprisingly accessible. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

The first half of this astounding live cd grabs you by the scruff and shakes you up. It makes you play air-drums and dance and then - take a breath - calm down, settle into some beautiful unaccompanied piano, the kind this master does so well. Rolling, emotional suspense and release followed by play offs with the reed player before re-settling into the groove and re-building for the energetic play out. Oh, so good. This is joyous music, played live and captured on tape for us lucky people. I had the pleasure, many years ago, of seeing and hearing Dollar Brand, as he was still known then, play at The Basement here in Sydney and that night is indelibly etched into my brain - sumptuous, innovative, beautiful music and this cd holds that same feeling. This is music to be immersed in, not analysed; to rejoice with rather than merely appreciate. Brilliant stuff. - by Noel A. Hodda,

Artist: Abdullah Ibrahim (Aka Dollar Brand)
Album: South Africa (Live in Montreux)
Year: 1986
Label: Enja
Runtime: 52:11

1.  Thaba Bosigo (Mountain of the night) 4:21
2.  Siya Hamba Namhlanje (We are leaving today) 3:28
3.  Iza-Ne Zembe Gawuale (Bring the Axe) 4:10
4.  Black and brown Cherries 7:59
5.  Our loving family 6:13
6.  African Dawn - For Monk 7:59
7.  Zimbabwe 4:22
8.  Elsie's River 6:03
9.  Pancakes 0:45
10.  Capetown Carnival 4:03
11.  Thaba Bosigo 2:42
All compositions by Abdullah Ibrahim

Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) (Piano, Soprano Saxophone and Vocals)
Johnny Classens (Vocals)
Carlos Ward (Flute and Alto Saxophone)
Essiet Okun Essiet (Double Bass)
Don Mumford (Drums)



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