June 13, 2024

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CD review: Abdullah Ibrahim – 3 – 2024: Video, CD cover

3 is a new album by 89-year-old piano master Abdullah Ibrahim, taken from his recent sold-out headline date at London’s Barbican Center.

The new album is spread out across two performances, the first without and the second with an audience, and includes new compositions, improvisations and renditions of favorites from his catalogue performed in a unique trio alongside Cleave Guyton on flute, piccolo and saxophone, and Noah Jackson on bass and cello.

“People don’t like Abdullah Ibrahim, they adore him, bestowing on him the devotion normally reserved for Nina Simone. When he plays, melodies tumble out effortlessly, as he slides from theme to theme like a laid-back South African reincarnation of Thelonious Monk.” – The Guardian

Taken from Abdullah Ibrahim’s summer 2023 sold-out headline date at London’s Barbican Centre, the new album “3” follows suit and is spread across two performances – the first is recorded without an audience ahead of the concert straight to analogue on a 1” Scully tape machine, which had previously been used by Elvis at the famous Memphis-based Sun Studios.

The second recording is taken from the evening’s performance itself with Ibrahim performing in a unique trio which includes Cleave Guyton (flute, piccolo, saxophone) who has performed alongside the likes of Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, and Joe Henderson, as well as lauded bassist and cellist Noah Jackson, both of which are members of EKAYA and featured on Ibrahim’s Top 3 Billboard Jazz album “The Balance”

Release date: January 26.

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