To celebrate the 70th birthday of pianist/composer/bandleader Abdullah Ibrahim and his 35th year recording for Enja, this set of previously released music was put out in 2005. The liner notes sum up his life well and the picturesque music is diverse, highlighted by the celebratory “African Market Place”, “The Mountain”, and “Mindif”, although surprisingly the beautiful “The Wedding” is not included. Ibrahim has recorded so much material through the years that a single CD cannot sum up his legacy, and this one only covers part of his long recording career, which began around 1960. Ibrahim is heard with several different groups (including a string orchestra on “Mannenberg Revisited”), with six of the 13 selections being with a trio, duo, or solo. The one minus is the concluding “Calypso Minor Remixed”, which is an unnecessary attempt to “update” Ibrahim’s music through the utilisation of DJ Explizit; the results are dull and trivial. Although worth picking up for those unfamiliar with the masterful Abdullah Ibrahim’s music, his more unified projects are superior acquisitions.
24 Feb 2004