African Piano cover

African Piano


South African pianist-composer Abdullah Ibrahim, known at the time of this 1969 live recording under the stage name “Dollar Brand,” left behind a document to treasure in African Piano. Reissued on CD by ECM in 2014, it stands as a testament to what one man in a crowded venue can do with the instrument. From the head-nodding “Bra Joe From Kilimanjaro,” he weaves a thickly braided tapestry in colors both muted (“Selby That The Eternal Spirit Is The Only Reality”) and exuberant (“Jabulani—Easter Joy”). Hearing this today feels like a privilege those chattering in the background took for granted.

Tyran Grillo

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