Sometimes a musical message is so urgent that questions of recording quality are almost beside the point. Informally recorded in 1969 in a noisy club – Copenhagen’s famous Jazzhus Montmartre – the flavour of this album is ‘documentary’ rather than luxuriantly hi-fidelity, yet the essence of Abdullah Ibrahim’s communication comes through loud and clear. The listener is drawn into the robust rhythms of his solo piano style, as he re-examines the history of jazz from a South African perspective, with echoes of songs of the townships, and vamps that hint of Monk and Duke and much more. African Piano was a highly influential album, and it has lost none of its power.
A1 Bra Joe From Kilimanjaro 11:23
A2 Selby That The Eternal Spirit Is The Only Reality 1:55
A3 The Moon 8:08
A4 Xaba 0:44
B1 Sunset In Blue 4:26
B2 Kippy 5:02
B3 Jabulani - Easter Joy 2:06
B4 Tintinyana 4:38
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What an album. Abdullah has spoiled us with all his work, but this album or piece of work as you could call it is :"Abdullah Ibrahim"
A most lovely collection of African Township pieces. Delightful to play. I intend giving copies to all my pianist friends for Christmas or birthdays.
The South African born performer and composer, Dollar Brand (now Abdullah Ibrahim), starts his `African Piano' like some amiable pub pianist idly shuffling the keys of an old piano in the quiet corner of some down-town bar. This mood soon changes as the music develops into an incredibly hypnotic rhythm that dances with your senses and fills you with delight until the very end of the album. This is music that is impossible to categorise, a mix of jazz, blues, gospel, Arabic and traditional African folk tunes fused together to create a wonderfully evocative sound. For many, this music represented the optimism and hope of Soweto during the darkest days of apartheid. Abdullah Ibrahim's solo piano creates a multi-layered sound underlined by strong rhythms and enchanting melodies that seem to recapture the essential spirit of an African music that has escaped from that continent to blossom in the New World. To his many admirers, Abdullah Ibrahim is the `brother with perfect timing' and no other album demonstrates this accolade so well.