Abdullah Ibrahim is South African musical royalty and can easily claim living legend status in the rest of the world too. He’s been likened to Thelonious Monk and played piano with with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach and Duke Ellington. Nelson Mandela regards him on a par with Mozart. Jabula is his brand new album, which he recorded in London. LP and CD on Gearbox.
Vinyl LP £20.49 GB1554
LP on Gearbox.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
CD £12.49 GB1554CD
CD on Gearbox.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
When Nelson Mandela describes someone as 'our Mozart', this is high praise indeed. Whether or not you think he was exaggerating, Abdullah Ibrahim's new album 'The Balance' goes some way to showing why Mandela had such a high opinion of this man's music. It's a collection of ten pieces, all centred around Ibrahim's gorgeously melodious piano playing.
I can't profess to knowing any great deal about jazz, in fact I'm something of a dilettante, but I do know that this is a really nice album. There's lots of space in the music and the solos never strike me as self-indulgent (something that puts me off some jazz). My favourite pieces are 'Jabula' and 'Tuang Guru', both are carried along with frantic basslines and drum parts that skitter and whirl. The whole of 'The Balance' has this irreverent yet somewhat mournful air, a strange contrast that Ibrahim just about manages to pull off.
To be honest, I'm not quite sure why the Mandela comment is of any relevance. It's not like he's any great authority on jazz (not that I am either) but this is still a great album and it helps if I include a tasty little bit at the start to whet your appetite.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- The Balance by Abdullah Ibrahim
What the artist or label has to say for themselves. Read more.