The Bebop Shop : New York Is Now: Ornette and Free Jazz : In the Townships: South African Jazz & Its Exiles
Sometimes a musical message is so urgent that questions of recording quality are almost beside the point. Informally recorded in 1969 in a noisy club - Copenhagen's famous Jazzhus Montmartre - the flavour of this album is 'documentary' rather than luxuriantly hi-fidelity, yet the essence of Abdullah Ibrahim's communication comes through loud and clear. The listener is drawn into the robust rhythms of his solo piano style, as he re-examines the history of jazz from a South African perspective, with echoes of songs of the townships, and vamps that hint of Monk and Duke and much more. (Proper Note) Price: £13.99
180g vinyl pressing.
Pianist-composer Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as "Dollar Brand") has long ranked among South Africa's giants alongside Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and the late Kippie Mokoetsi. A master of improvisation with a distinctive African edge, the exiled Cape Town musician has developed a musical style over the past 30 years that defies categorisation. Rather, it is a fascinating mosaic of diverse traditions including African rutal and township rhythms, classical jazz, and gospel. South African folk melodies are enriched with Western harmonies, coalescing into a gracefullly fluid and intensely spiritual whole.
Best known for his hypnotic and introspective stream-of-consciousness compositions and his innovative interpretations of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Billy Strayhorn classics, Ibrahim's music is at once accessible and complex, intriguing and lyrical. He has indefatigably explored and fused classical jazz with the multitude of influences that make up traditional and contemporary South African music. (Proper Music) Price: £10.99
The album was produced by Joe Boyd and engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques studio in London, during the same months they were also working with several other luminaries of the Witchseason stable - Fairport Convention, Nick Drake and the Incredible String Band. Forty years later the passing years have not diminished the albums impact. This is the third release in Fledg'ling Records' campaign to reissue McGregors wonderfully creative recordings from the late 60s and early 70s. Chris McGregor (piano), Dudu Pukwana (alto saxophone), Mongezi Feza (pocket trumpet),Ronnie Beer (tenor saxophone), Johnny Dyani (bass), Louis Moholo (drums). (Proper Music) Price: £12.99
The album was mastered and test pressings produced before the project was shelved. The group morphed into the spectacular big band - The Brotherhood Of Breath - and all energies were transferred to recording the Brotherhoods debut album. (Proper Music) Price: £12.99