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Label: Intuition
Quality: FLAC 16 bits 44.1kHz
mp3 included
Track length:2:36
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900010
Track length:6:40
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900011
Track length:7:03
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900012
Track length:10:27
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900013
Track length:6:09
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900014
6
Meditation - Joan Capetown Flower Meditation - Joan Capetown Flower 10:08     Add € 2.00
Track length:10:08
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900015
Track length:14:05
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah; Monk, Thelonious
ISRC: DEF300900016
Track length:2:55
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900017
Track length:7:37
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900018
Track length:6:46
Performer: Abdullah Ibrahim
Composer: Ibrahim, Abdullah
ISRC: DEF300900019

Just a Piano begins, nothing else aside from that. The touch, spiritually carried away and the fateful anchoring in the Jazz history with a breeze from Africa immediately reveal the handwriting of Abdullah Ibrahim. And firstly last year, he had just recorded a stunning solo album titled “Senzo” that embeds all his life experience in a close relationship network of social and historical slant. However, after exactly two minutes and thirty-six seconds, it is clear that it is not just another solo album. Soft Big Band Sounds dodge around the piano, get more squeezed and carry the sound of the South Africans to completely different places of heavy power. His new album “Bombella” is in many respects the culmination of his career. Born as Adolphe Johannes Brand in Cape Town in 1934, he worked from 1949 as a professional musician under the name of Dollar Brand. What this means in the times of Apartheid in South Africa, does not need further explanation. After all, he stayed in his home country until the beginning of the sixties, where he accompanied Miriam Makeba and with the Jazz Epistles founded the first jazz band of Africa worth mentioning. However, the international recognition also caused distrust in his home country. In 1962 he moved to Europe, performing above all in Switzerland and Denmark, until Duke Ellington discovered him in 1965. Ellington took Brand to New York. The Triumph in the Newport Jazz Festival became his ticket to the first League of Jazz. He belonged to the Avant-garde of New York and trained not only his sense of improvisation through Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, but also betook himself into a spiritual track that he never left until today. He never broke off his close relation to Africa, but also persistently looked for alliances in Europe and Asia. From 1968, musicians like Don Cherry, Gato Barbieri and the legendary South African bass player Johnny Dyani belonged to his close allies. In 1968 he converted to Islam and adopted the name Abdullah Ibrahim, which in the course of the next years very carefully replaced the trademark Dollar Brand. In the seventies and eighties he was an absolute integration figure for African Jazz. Just to remember albums like “Echoes From Africa“ (1979, in duo with Dyani), “African Marketplace“ (1980) or “Zimbabwe“ (1983), which by then were described as an unthinkable organic relation between American Jazz and African roots music. The abolition of Apartheid was also a coup for Abdullah Ibrahim. In 1994 he played at the induction of Nelson Mandela. With the musing solo album “Senzo” he expanded the context of his African roots and American memories to a global experience. It is lightheaded to say that a piano is a compressed orchestra. It is especially true for Abdullah Ibrahim. “My career began in a Big Band“, says Abdullah Ibrahim. “I successfully completed my first appearance in Cape Town on the edge of the Swing and Bebop era in a Big Band named Tuxedo Slickers. We played American arrangements, but also traditional African music. The energy of the Big Band was always embraced in my playing. The arranger Steve Gray, with whom I worked on this music, has finally managed to revive the line of my solo part again and to retranslate this into the Big Band context. He expanded my intentions with his own dynamics.” This album is also dedicated to the arranger Steve Gray, who died in September last year. Big Band and Solo are really opposite principles. From an artistic point of view it makes sense for working with a big auditory source to follow a solo album. But with his unique accomplishment of an unintrusive abstraction and the transcendental agreement of pretended antagonisms, Ibrahim succeeds to keep raving the strings of ‘Senzo’ also beyond the Intro with the Big Band. “‘Senzo’ was the embryonic form of what could come”, said Ibrahim. “Since I record discs, each album contains the conditions for the next one. The songs in ‘Bombella’ are a continuation of the stories that I presented in ‘Senzo’.” Indeed “Bombella” tells very different stories. There is the Portrait of South Africa from the perspective of a modern cosmopolitan, who has experienced the dimension of apartheid. In a very close way it explains the live story of Abdullah Ibrahim. “These ten songs work together as an extended experience. We have staged them like a film. These are biographical songs that also tell about the evolution of my compositions. This CD represents a micro cosmos of the experience.” The material for “Bombella” is not new. Most of the songs are known from the other arrangements of important albums from the past of the South African Jazz Magicians like “African River”, “Capetown Revisited” or “Water From An Ancient Well”. With such a rich Opera Omnia, like that of Abdullah Ibrahim, it is not easy to decide. “Many of these songs were reordered solo, in trio or with a band Ekaya. We want to know how they work with the Big Band. With it, Steve Gray and I followed the tradition of Ellington, who reinterpreted and restructured his compositions each time again and again. In addition we had our public in sight. Many of these songs were not available for a long time, because of distribution problems. In this way we just wanted to make them accessible again.” His close relation to his mentor, Ellington, clearly finds more expression in “Bombella” than in most of his previous records. The arrangements and dynamic of the album evoke the Duke strongly. A conscious decision of Ibrahim and Gray. Ibrahim is convinced that Ellington is indispensable for a modern composer and arranger. From the historical material of Abdullah Ibrahim, the intro “Green Kalahari”, which is sought without success in earlier records, was taken out. With it there is a special explanation. Green Kalahari is a landscape in the north of the Cape of South Africa, where the Pianist recently bought a large 750 hectare farm. “It is a very exceptional place with rich flora and fauna as well as a ramified underground water system. There I accomplished a project of my M7-Academy. It is located very close to a two and a half million year old cave, in which people had already lived 800.000 years ago. ‘Green Kalahari’ is a complete improvised Piano Solo. It was recorded in one take and I could not play it again. For me tt represents my spiritual home.” Once again Ibrahim follows his principle “No Mind” in this improvisation, which he has undertaken from his Asian combat sport, and implies that all you have acquired with hard work over the decades is forgotten in the game and you just give yourself to the magic of the moment. But every moment also has a historical dimension. This is reflected again for example in the title. Today, Bombela (with one l) stands for a high-speed system that is being built in South Africa. However, if you search in the web for Bombella (double l), it is not that easy to find. Here the memory of Abdullah Ibrahim is superior to the cyberspace. “I wrote this song when I was 16. The name goes back to a train that transported the mine workers from all of South Africa to the gold and diamond mines. But the train had 4 classes. I always travelled fourth class with the foreign workers. The fourth class was always at the front of the train, because there you swallowed all of the dense smoke and ember, which was very unpleasant in the heat of South Africa. The meaning of this train was immense, since it was a symbol for all classes of South Africa.” So Abdullah Ibrahim succeeded again with this holistic work of art “Bombella“, for which the term corset like Jazz is too limited.