On Feb. 18, 1973, Abdullah Ibrahim had a busy day, recording two brilliant albums of solo piano. A pair of CD reissues (Ancient Africa and Fats Duke & The Monk) include all of the material from the LPs Sangoma and African Portraits although they change the order of the songs around quite a bit; Ancient Africa has two pieces from the former album and one from the latter. The superior of the two CDs, Ancient Africa features Ibrahim playing some remarkable music that is reminiscent of (but actually historically precedes) Keith Jarrett’s famous solo concerts. There are many exciting moments during these picturesque and lengthy improvisations which range from 13 to 21 minutes apiece. Ibrahim combines the sophistication of advanced jazz with the beautiful and often-spiritual melodies of African folk music. Highly recommended.
24 Feb 1994