Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Abdullah Ibrahim – “Cape Town Revisited”


Sunday morning is when the serenity comes down.  Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun.  Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice.  Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land.  It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding.  Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.

Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these.  If you possess the freakish compulsion to get-up-and-go when the clock strikes Sunday morning, this music is not for you.  Go and listen to a Spotify EDM playlist or something.  But whatever you decide, just do it quietly and far away from those of us who appreciate the true solemn nature of a Sunday morning.

Abdullah Ibrahim‘s vast discography has something for everyone, and that includes those of us who prefer a little tranquility to our Sunday mornings.  This live 1997 performance on the South African pianist’s Cape Town home turf is one such offering.  Yes, the pace picks up on tracks like “Someday Soon Sweet Samba” and the “Capetown to Congo Square” suite, but there is something so immensely contemplative about Ibrahim’s personal sound on piano that it tempers the effect of a speedy tempo or outburst of intensity.  This album may not always sound like a Sunday Morning Jazz Album, but it will always treat you like one.

“Water From an Ancient Well” has a cheery demeanor with its wide smile melody and a cadence that incites the foot to tap along, but nothing about it risks shattering the serenity of the room.  And quietly thoughtful pieces like “The Mountain” and “The Wedding” have melodies cut from the raw materials of tranquility, and transmit a fireplace warmth that comforts and makes everything okay again.  And that’s where this album’s heart beats strongest, in those moments when it is able to conjure up sparks of joy and melancholy tones, simultaneously.

You need this album today, right now.

  • Artist-Title:  Abdullah Ibrahim – Cape Town Revisited
  • Personnel:  Abdullah Ibrahim (piano), Marcus McLaurine (bass), George Gray (drums) and guest: Feya Faku (trumpet).
  • Proper Use:  1) Transitioning from I-am-not-leaving-this-sofa to oh-god-I-really-do-have-to-go-outside-today, 2) Soundtrack for throwing the cat’s favorite toy mouse across the room in a game of fetch, or 3) Sofa, coffee, book, read.

Released in 2000 on Enja Records.

Music from Cape Town, South Africa.

Available at:  Amazon