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Even More Good News From Africa!!!,
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This review is from: Blues For A Hip King (Audio CD)
I first came across these recordings back in the late 80s when Abdullah Ibrahim was on a solo tour and was playing at the Hackney Empire. Back then, the albums were being released on the Kaz label on double vinyl. The sheer weight of this one and African SunAfrican Sun as I carried them off was glorious! What was even better was the music. While the line-up on these recordings make them seem like compilation CDs, there is nothing of the randomness of that genre. These tunes are all solid killers from start to finish.
There are several trio numbers, including the title track, where it is possible to hear the traces of both Ellington and Monk in Ibrahim's playing and these are balanced out against the small group numbers where the basic trio is filled out with various horn players including the vastly under-rated Basil Coetzee, the hugely talented and much under-recorded Kippie Moeketsi, Trombonist Buster Cooper and Blue Mitchell.
of the tracks, the stand-out numbers, for me, are the title piece and Ornette's Cornet, but it is so hard to pick out the best when everything is top-notch quality. This is solid African Jazz, full on sweet melodies and funky rhythms. if I had to pick out a down-side to this, then it would have to be the 'missing' track from the sessions that produced Ornette's Cornet - some years ago I came across an excruciatingly expensive vinyl copy of the original album that some of these tracks appeared on and there was an additional track (possibly called Monk on the Hudson) that I haven't come across anywhere since, and it's a shame that it never made it on to the final release of this CD.
If this does take your fancy, you should also check out the associated albums Voice Of Africa, Tintinyana and the aforementioned African Sun.