Best of 2019 #32: Abdullah Ibrahim – “The Balance”


Abdullah Ibrahim brings a poignancy to a melody unlike any other jazz musician, ever.  Perhaps this is something that was destined to occur or perhaps it is a talent shaped by a life under Apartheid, including life as an exile and, later, a return to his South Africa home.  There is both joy and sadness, exultation and melancholy carried upon the pianist’s expressions of melody, and these are not contradictions but the embodiment of what it means to be alive, and perhaps that is why the music of Abdullah Ibrahim flows through the body as essentially and effortlessly as blood to the heart.  The Balance was recorded over a single day with Ibrahim’s long-time septet Ekaya, and it adds to catalog of music that is as profound and important as any musician’s, ever.

Your album personnel:  Abdullah Ibrahim (piano), Noah Jackson (double bass, cello), Will Terrill (drums), Cleave Guyton Jr. (alto sax, flute, piccolo), Lance Bryant (tenor sax), Andrae Murchison (trombone), Marshall McDonald (baritone sax), and guests:  Alec Dankworth (double bass), Adam Glasser (harmonica).

Released on Gearbox Records.

Music from Cape Town, South Africa.

I wrote about this album for The Bandcamp Daily.

Listen | Read more | Available at: BandcampAmazon