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Abdullah Ibrahim|3

3

Abdullah Ibrahim

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The redoubtable South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim—formerly known as Dollar Brand—was born in 1934. But well into the 21st century, Ibrahim is still going strong as is evidenced by 3, where he is joined by Cleave Guyton on flute, piccolo, and clarinet, and Noah Jackson on bass and cello. The sprawling release features six studio cuts and more than a dozen live tracks recorded at a 2023 concert at London's Barbican Centre. The trio plays a kind of chamber music that deftly blends jazz, classical, and South African music. At times, Ibrahim lays out for long stretches or adds just a few choice notes here and there, but on "Reprise 1" and "Reprise 2," two solo piano outings that each run fifteen minutes, he turns expansive. Over their course, he moves through several contrasting sections that incorporate Eastern contours, gospel cadences, balladry, blues, and other elements into his alluring flow. "Mindif" was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the 1988 Claire Denis film, Chocolat. After a lovely, if brief, piano intro, cello and flute play the melancholy theme; later, the composition takes on a lush quality. It's instructive to compare the studio and live versions that appear here: the former has a soothing, burnished sound while the live track features slightly rougher textures that enliven the piece. In addition to offering a trove of Ibrahim originals, 3 includes Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood," John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and Thelonious Monk's "Skippy." The pianist mostly sits out the Ellington classic where Guyton states the melody on flute and then takes flight, moving nicely over Jackson's deep tones.  The unaccompanied version of "Giant Steps" finds Jackson deftly navigating the tune's famous sequence of changes. "Skippy," one of Monk's trickier works, features playful piccolo driven by walking bass. There are several gems on 3, but if you had to pick a single cut, it might be "Water from an Ancient Well." Multivarious flute, soulful bass, and gorgeous piano mark this standout, one sharpened by edgy blues feeling. © Fred Cisterna/Qobuz

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3

Abdullah Ibrahim

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1
Barakat
00:03:28

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Kristina Rhodes, recording_engineer - Isaac Boehm, mixing_second_engineer - Charlie Rickard, recording_second_engineer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

2
Tsakwe
00:01:42

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Kristina Rhodes, recording_engineer - Isaac Boehm, mixing_second_engineer - Charlie Rickard, recording_second_engineer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

3
Krotoa - Crystal Clear
00:03:55

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Darrel Sheinman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Kristina Rhodes, recording_engineer - Isaac Boehm, mixing_second_engineer - Charlie Rickard, recording_second_engineer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

4
Maraba
00:02:31

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Kristina Rhodes, recording_engineer - Isaac Boehm, mixing_second_engineer - Charlie Rickard, recording_second_engineer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

5
Ishmael
00:01:42

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Kristina Rhodes, recording_engineer - Isaac Boehm, mixing_second_engineer - Charlie Rickard, recording_second_engineer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

6
Mindif
00:04:22

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Kristina Rhodes, recording_engineer - Isaac Boehm, mixing_second_engineer - Charlie Rickard, recording_second_engineer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

DISC 2

1
In a Sentimental Mood (Live)
00:06:24

Duke Ellington, Composer - ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

2
Giant Steps (Live)
00:03:18

John Coltrane, Composer - ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

3
Reprise 1 (Live)
00:15:11

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

4
Water from an Ancient Well (Live)
00:08:53

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

5
Nisa (Live)
00:06:01

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

6
The Wedding (Live)
00:05:14

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

7
Tuang Guru (Live)
00:07:33

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

8
Reprise 2 (Live)
00:15:37

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

9
Dreamtime (Live)
00:04:23

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

10
Skippy (Live)
00:06:28

Thelonious Monk, Composer - ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

11
Blue Bolero (Live)
00:01:05

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

12
Mindif (Live)
00:07:00

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

13
Trance-Mission (Live)
00:03:06

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - David Strange, recording_engineer - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

14
Mindif (Single Edit)
00:04:16

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

15
Water from an Ancient Well (Single Edit)
00:04:04

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, Composer, MainArtist - Noah Jackson, Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Caspar Sutton-Jones, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Cleave Guyton Jr., Soloist, FeaturedArtist - Darrel Sheinman, Producer

2024 Gearbox Records 2024 Gearbox Records

Album review

The redoubtable South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim—formerly known as Dollar Brand—was born in 1934. But well into the 21st century, Ibrahim is still going strong as is evidenced by 3, where he is joined by Cleave Guyton on flute, piccolo, and clarinet, and Noah Jackson on bass and cello. The sprawling release features six studio cuts and more than a dozen live tracks recorded at a 2023 concert at London's Barbican Centre. The trio plays a kind of chamber music that deftly blends jazz, classical, and South African music. At times, Ibrahim lays out for long stretches or adds just a few choice notes here and there, but on "Reprise 1" and "Reprise 2," two solo piano outings that each run fifteen minutes, he turns expansive. Over their course, he moves through several contrasting sections that incorporate Eastern contours, gospel cadences, balladry, blues, and other elements into his alluring flow. "Mindif" was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the 1988 Claire Denis film, Chocolat. After a lovely, if brief, piano intro, cello and flute play the melancholy theme; later, the composition takes on a lush quality. It's instructive to compare the studio and live versions that appear here: the former has a soothing, burnished sound while the live track features slightly rougher textures that enliven the piece. In addition to offering a trove of Ibrahim originals, 3 includes Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood," John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and Thelonious Monk's "Skippy." The pianist mostly sits out the Ellington classic where Guyton states the melody on flute and then takes flight, moving nicely over Jackson's deep tones.  The unaccompanied version of "Giant Steps" finds Jackson deftly navigating the tune's famous sequence of changes. "Skippy," one of Monk's trickier works, features playful piccolo driven by walking bass. There are several gems on 3, but if you had to pick a single cut, it might be "Water from an Ancient Well." Multivarious flute, soulful bass, and gorgeous piano mark this standout, one sharpened by edgy blues feeling. © Fred Cisterna/Qobuz

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