This live concert, recorded in the year Abdullah Ibrahim was 85, comes from his now chosen home in Bavaria. The music is of a continuous nature with the familiar strains of Blue Bolero being the glue that cements the performance together as a whole. This of course is not the only resurrected melody in the piece; regular followers of the composer and pianist will recognise such tunes as Capetown District Six and Blues For A Hip King.
Ibrahim has always cited Ellington and Monk as his inspirations, his melodies often as memorable as those of either one, and that writing skill has always been a major strength. Consequently, when we are confronted by such a concoction as this, it is that melodic content which shines through.
In truth he is probably one of the few pianists who could get away with a presentation taken at such a stately pace as on Dream Time, for there is never a suggestion of a wasted note or phrase. This could almost be regarded as a very personal take from a man who has chosen a repertoire representing decades of devotion to the art of jazz, the country of his birth at the heart of everything he has given us.
There are no particular highlights to be had here, just a chance to let this unique music wash over us.
Trieste My Love; Genesis; For Coltrane; Blue Bolero; Nisa; Blue Bolero; Capetown District Six; Sotho Blue; Machopi; Whoza Mtwana; Blues For A Hip King; Dream Time; In The Evening; Song For Lawrence Brown; Blue Bolero; Dedication To Duke Ellington; The Balance; Aspen; Did You Hear That Sound; Blue Bolero (66.37)
Ibrahim (p). Solinhuben, Germany, 17 March 2019.
Enja ENJ-9676 2