Sunday, April 13, 2008

548. Abdullah Ibrahim - Water From An Ancient Well (1985)

Track Listing

1. Mandela
2. Song For Sathima
3. Manenberg Revisited
4. Tuang Guru
5. Water From An Ancient Well
6. Wedding
7. Mountain
8. Sameeda


Water From An Ancient Well, even though it is a good Jazz album sounds very much like a throwback. With a few exception, like the very moving beginning of Song for Sathima, it all sounds like it could have come from the late 50's.

This is not a bad thing in itself, we are at a time, after all, where retro is the new new. Thankfully for 1985 this album manages to tread the fine line between good and tacky, it never quite falls into porn jazz, although it gets close sometimes.

It also gets close to some of the jazz-like accompaniments to music by people like the Dire Straits, and that is not nice. Still, it manages to fall on the right side of music. Good, but not amazing.

Track Highlights

1. Song For Sathima
2. Mandela
3. The Wedding
4. Manenberg Revisited

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Abdullah Ibrahim is a towering figure in South African music, an artist who brings together all its traditions with a deeply felt understanding of American jazz, from the orchestral richness of Duke Ellington's compositions for big band to the groundbreaking innovations of Ornette Coleman and the 1960s avant-garde.

Ibrahim has worked as a solo performer, typically in mesmerising unbroken concerts that echo the unstoppable impetus of the old marabi performers. He also performs regularly with trios and quartets and larger orchestral units. Since his triumphant return to South Africa in the early 1990s, he has been feted with symphony orchestra performances, one of which was in honour of Nelson Mandela's installation as President. He has also founded the "M7" academy for South African musicians in Cape Town, and was the initiator of the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, an 18-piece big band launched in September 2006.

The Wedding, Live at Montreux in a recording from 1980:

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