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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song Is My Story

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Blessed is the artist who has reached the zenith of his craft, and endured to reap the rewards, becoming the wise elder reflecting upon a lifetime of creative accomplishment. Having left an impressive body of work, he still greets the dawn with exuberance and optimism. Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim is such an artist. As a consummate and dedicated musician, he blazed a trail from the tumultuous townships of Capetown, South Africa to the premier concert halls of the world, and remains ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

D.F.F.: Pouric Songs

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D.F.F. is a seven-piece super-group founded by multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Dave Flynn and Pouric Songs is its stellar debut recording. The versatile Flynn is also the man behind the Clare Memory Orchestra--a fusion of Ireland's leading traditional and classical musicians--so it's no surprise that D.F.F. blends genres and colors so seamlessly. Pop, rock, African rhythms and folksy balladry have all gone into the melting pot to produce a vibrant, celebratory idiom. Acoustic and electric guitar rub shoulders with cello and mbira; congas, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dobet Gnahoré: Na Drê

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The oral tradition of the griots can be traced back to the 13th century in the vast West African Mande Empire of Mali, which included what is now the Ivory Coast. They are an essential cultural trait of the region, heralded as messengers of praise and visionaries of the future. Dobet Gnahoré, a native of the Ivory Coast, is a descendant of the griots and daughter of a master percussionist. She was trained and immersed in artistic rituals from an ...

LIVE REVIEWS

South Africa at the South Bank

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The Dedication Orchestra and Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya The South Bank Centre London Jazz Festival November 15, 2014 The London Jazz Festival is now in its twenty-second year. It's a vast, sprawling event and its venues criss-cross a city that never quite seems to end, whilst its musical styles span the globe from the USA to Australia and from South Africa to Norway. Saturday 15th November saw South Africa in two distinctly different guises ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Abdullah Ibrahim at Zankel Hall

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Abdullah Ibrahim Zankel Hall Ubuntu: Music And Arts Of South Africa New York, NY October 17, 2014 Ubuntu. It's one little six-letter word that carries a world of meaning within its frame. The term itself, roughly translated to mean “I am because you are," took root as a philosophy for black youth liberation in the '40s and '50s, but over time, ubuntu has taken on a life beyond a specific movement. It's a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Theron Shaw: Gumbo Caribe

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Theron Shaw is well known in local music circles as the go-to man for guitar support ranging from jazz to calypso. His two previous releases signalled a willingness to engage with native cultural mores and tackle Caribbean Jazz not only as a way to “tropicalise" harmonically complex original music, but as a way to validate and valorise calypsoes, ethnic music and folk songs in a surprisingly new context. With his third release on CD, Gumbo Caribe, Shaw almost exclusively utilises ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Fatoumata Diawara at Nourse Theater

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Fatoumata Diawara Nourse Theater Mali Fest San Francisco, CA April 18, 2014 A buzz was in the air among those assembled at San Francisco's Nourse Theater for the first night of Mali Fest, a set of two concerts which featured two distinct acts. This initial evening headlined the multitalented singer, songwriter, musician and actress Fatoumata Diawara. Born in the Ivory Coast but raised in Mali (where her family belongs to the royal caste), Diawara ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abdullah Ibrahim: Mukashi (Once upon a time)

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Japan and South Africa were never so close. The acclaimed pianist and flautist Abdullah Ibrahim fused the Asian zen calmness with stories and inspiration from his native homeland in his latest album Mukashi. Mukashi translates in Japanese as “Once upon a time" is a very appropriate title considering Ibrahim's impressive storytelling skills, as well as the visual evocations of the record. “Krotoa" is one of the most interesting tracks of the album and it is split ...



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