Interview: Abdullah Ibrahim - JazzWax

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April 11, 2011


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Ahh...the great Mr. Ibrahim! His records are all worth searching out. I especially enjoy his many solo piano albums. The two that he recorded in one day for Sackville in Toronto (1973) are fantastic. He played the heck out of that piano. He was doing stream-of-consciousness solo piano recitals even before Keith Jarrett. Actually, his music has many similarities with Jarrett's also. Funky gospel, vamps, beautiful melodies, and enormous virtuosity (but not for its own sake).


Thanks for the tip Marc. I don't know why I need to be constantly reminded of an artist who's made some of my favorite albums, but...

And "Sotho Blue" has been added to my list. One of my faves, on a par with "Water from an Ancient Well."

Really, thanks.

Dan Josephs

Thank you Marc- love Abdullah Ibrahim- love the interview. Reminds me of how soulful his music is and how rooted it African-American traditions and history it is. Last saw him at Sweet Basil on 7th ave. Since I'm in Birmingham at the moment with have to make the pilgrimage to Hawkins' home.
Best- Dan

Victor J,

One of my favorites CD African River from Abdullah Ibrahim.

Mark King

Just got this record and I love it. Thank you for the tip! I'm just discovering jazz for real after flirting around its edges for decades, and have been reading my way thru this great blog as well. Thanks again.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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