Abdullah Ibrahim: Out of (South) Africa
Don Snowden, L.A. Weekly, 6 October 1988
FUNNY THAT you never hear Abdullah Ibrahim's name mentioned in post-Graceland discussions of contemporary South African music. The 54-year-old pianist/composer (who performed as Dollar Brand until he embraced Islam in 1969) plays music that slips into the 4/4 swing of straight-ahead jazz or plugs into the punchy rhythms of mbqanga with equal ease. It's music that is often built around the repetition of stately, deliberate melodies and blues-drenched riffs; music that ignores any distinction between pop and jazz because none existed when Ibrahim was growing up in Cape Town in the late '40s and '50s.
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