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Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya: Sotho Blue

AAJ Italy Staff By

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Sono trascorsi quasi tre decenni da quando Abdullah Ibrahim presentò il progetto Ekaya nel disco omonimo del 1983: un settetto formato da tre sassofoni, un trombone ed una sezione ritmica con il leader al pianoforte.

I componenti dell'organico originale sono ovviamente cambiati (ricordate? c'erano Dick Griffin al trombone, Carlos Ward, Ricky Ford e Charles Davis ai sassofoni mentre la ritmica comprendeva Cecil McBee al contrabbasso e Ben Riley alla batteria) e non è il caso di fare confronti. Lo spirito complessivo è mutato, privilegiando la cantabilità melodica dei temi e la sontuosità degli impasti sonori, a scapito della fragranza ritmica di derivazione africana e dell'intensità espressiva degli interventi solisti.

La tensione tribale tra il fantasioso polo ritmico e quello melodico non c'è più ed il progetto musicale ha perso gran parte della sua identità: gli arrangiamenti ricordano molto Duke Ellington ed anche se affascinanti e ben eseguiti si sviluppano su linee abbastanza convenzionali e prevedibili.

Se volete un jazz levigato e cantabile, dalle armonie morbide e pastose, questo è il disco per voi: ma rischierete di fruirlo come musica da sottofondo.

Track Listing: Calypso Minor; Sotho Blue; Abide; Nisa; The Mountain; The Wedding; Glass Enclosure; Star Dance; Joan Capetown Flower (Emerald Bay).

Personnel: Abdullah Ibrahim: grand piano; Belden Bullock: bass; George Gray: drums; Cleave Guyton: alto sax, flute; Keith Loftis: tenor sax;Andrae Murchison: trombone; Jason Marshall: baritone sax.

Title: Sotho Blue | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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