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Album Review

Also made available domestically at one time by the defunct Black Hawk label, this superior Abdullah Ibrahim recording features the pianist/composer with a very strong septet. Such superior musicians as tenor saxophonist Ricky Ford, altoist Carlos Ward, baritonist Charles Davis, and trombonist Dick Griffin are heard at their most creative and emotional on these eight Ibrahim originals. Many of the melodies (particularly "Mandela," "Song for Sathima," "Water From an Ancient Well," and the beautiful "The Wedding") are among Ibrahim's finest compositions.

Customer Reviews

Pretty bad

As a jazz album from Africa that incorporates a light smattering of ethnic folk music, this album could barely be any more worthy. Namedrop it around academics and you're porbbaly going to score some major brownie points. That doesn't really paper over the cracks much, though; this is seriously, seriously cheesy music, capable of destroying a person's interest in jazz and African music at the first hurdle. For whatever reason, the music he released under the name Dollar Brand tends to be better - try that out instead.

Some of Ibrahim's best compositions

This is a quick rebuttal review for anyone who reads the Nick Butler review, which is well off the mark. Cheesy, this isn't. The title track is a superb piece which builds and builds. Most jazz reviewers would suggest that this album contains some of Ibrahim's best compositions, and it was recorded when his touring band were at the height of their powers. Carlos Ward and Ricky Ford are excellent. Ibrahim combines beautifual playing and Ellingtonian composition with township jazz to give a music that could only be South African. This has beauty and fun in equal proportions. Take a listen and catch the spirit and soul of African jazz.


Born: 09 October 1934 in Cape Town, South Africa

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The melodic sounds of South Africa are fused with the improvisation of jazz and the technical proficiency of classical music by South Africa-born pianist Dollar Brand or, as he's called himself since converting to Islam in 1968, Abdullah Ibrahim. Since attracting international acclaim as a member of the Jazz Epistles, one of South Africa's first jazz bands, Ibrahim has continued to explore new ground with his imaginative playing. Exposed to a variety of music as a youngster, including traditional...
Full bio
Water from an Ancient Well, Abdullah Ibrahim
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  • £8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Oct 1985

Customer Ratings

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