351

Abdullah Ibrahim: Best of Abdullah Ibrahim

Javier AQ Ortiz By

Sign in to view read count
Abdullah Ibrahim: Best of Abdullah Ibrahim Let us forget about the obvious for just a second and not dwell on who is Abdullah Ibrahim, his storied background and development, or even the importance of this compilation of material mostly culled from recorded work in South Africa. Anthology nonetheless, this is a super jazz album that stands on its own as a fascinating sketch of a truly significant global jazz figure.

Assuming a readership that might not be familiarized with Ibrahim’s music, one could simply venture that all the tracks in Best of Abdullah Ibrahim showcase resourceful tunes with robust, albeit uncomplicated arrangements. They serve well as conduit for solo and ensemble masterworks. Since the material selected spans a few decades, one has the opportunity to hear some common threads, as well as unique demarcations, taken throughout the years. Obviously, one would need to investigate where such paths came from and where they lead by examining his extensive recorded output in other labels, such as Enja. In Best of Abdullah Ibrahim, however, such a detection venture is facilitated by an introductory glimpse aided by trio playing mixed with various ensemble types, featuring various sonorities and musicians of variegated nations and persuasions.

Rashid Vally, the South African compiler of this CD, has been associated with Ibrahim’s journey during the most significant part of his career and his selections include “Woza Mtwana,” a live portion of the performances rendered during Ibrahim’s recent tour of his homeland that saw international light through Cape Town Revisited. Said album, however, did not include the aforementioned tune whereupon special guest Feya Faku performs a yummy trumpet solo. In the driving “Tintinyana,” which is another live performance, Ibrahim plays at will with the piano to great and salutary effect giving way to a truly organic bass exposition, while George Johnson keeps everyone in rein with his drumming freedom. It is not clear whether the live tunes listed in the liner notes as recorded in 1995 were recorded that year on in 1997 as the Enja label website would suggest. In the final analysis, only the most punctilious would really care about these matters, even if it would be nice to know for sure.

Although brief, “The Wedding” is an exquisite piece. If nothing else, “Mannenberg,” is a saxophonic and arranging lesson to behold; although that does not begin to describe its 13+ minutes of musical magnificence. “African Sun” features contented ideas. The thick swing of “Bayi Lam” heals. “Chisa” marches with a tasty tightness that does not squeeze the life out of the soloists as Ibrahim adorns and impels it to a triumphal faded end. “Little Boy” is neither small, nor infantile, although quite a bit of fun is had with it, as the reed players are as mischievous as they want to be. “Bra Timing From Phomolong” is the type of tune that only masters can perform to such level since it requires equal amounts of discipline, encyclopedic jazz knowledge and taste. Finally, does a tune entitled “Blues For a Hip King” require any teaser or explanation?



Contact: For US availability, contact ReRooted Media .


Track Listing: 1. Bra Timing From Phomolong 2. Mannenberg 3. Bayi Lam 4. Blues For A Hip King 5. Woza Mtwana 6. Little Boy 7. Tintinyana 8. The Wedding 9. African Sun 10. Chisa

Personnel: The musicians are listed, per song, in the liner notes for this collection, including some figures known to most jazz audiences.

Title: Best of Abdullah Ibrahim | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: EMI Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis &...
by John Kelman
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "The BBC Sessions Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review The BBC Sessions Vol. 1
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Recorded Live in Lafayette" CD/LP/Track Review Recorded Live in Lafayette
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.