Abdullah Ibrahim – The Balance (2019)

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“There are few musicians in jazz who can make you feel that essentially all is right in the world.” – The Times

At the age of 84, Abdullah Ibrahim (AKA Dollar Brand) is set to release his first new album in four years. Entitled ‘The Balance’, this project features his long-time septet Ekaya, a line-up that he’s been recording with since 1983. In this case, the album was recorded over the course of one day at London’s RAK Studios last November. The lush horn lines, lilting melodies, and uplifting chord progressions are characteristic of Abdullah’s own particular brand of Township Jazz. This is contrasted with various solo piano improvisations, which epitomise the nostalgic yet hopeful nature of Abdullah’s musical spirit. Hence, The Balance.

In his own words, “We push ourselves out of our comfort zones. So that we can present to the listener our striving for excellence. So that we can engage with our listeners without any barriers of our ego. It’s not jazz. For us, it’s a process of transcending barriers.”

Track listings:
1. Dreamtime
2. Nisa
3. Jabula
4. Tuang Guru
5. Tonegawa
6. Song for Sathima
7. ZB2
8. Skippy
9. Devotion
10. The Balance

Personnel:

Abdullah Ibrahim – piano
Noah Jackson – double bass (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8), cello (tracks 3, 10)
Alec Dankworth  – double bass (tracks 3, 10)
Will Terrill – drums
Adam Glasser – harmonica (track 10)
Cleave Guyton Jr. – alto saxophone (tracks 2, 3, 6), flute (track 1, 10), piccolo (track 4, 8)
Lance Bryant – tenor saxophone
Andrae Murchison – trombone
Marshall McDonald – baritone saxophone

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Engineered by Tony Platt at RAK Studio 1.
Mixed by Caspar Sutton-Jones
Mastered and cut by Darrel Sheinman and Caspar Sutton-Jones at Gearbox Records

Releases: June 28, 2019

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