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Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim Interviewed at All About Jazz

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For legendary pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim, music is always in a state of evolution. This philosophy is common to nearly all great composers, from [pianist] Duke Ellington to [trumpeter] Miles Davis and from [saxophonist] John Coltrane and [pianist] Ahmad Jamal to [guitarist] Bill Frisell. A piece of music is born, it grows and gradually matures but it never withers.

And, like the Lesotho mountains, which, in part, inspired Ibrahim to revisit compositions—some of which he penned a quarter of a century ago—there is a timeless quality to Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya's Sotho Blue (Intuition, 2010). A subdued, blue tonality colors the music but the playing of this fine septet is emotionally charged, and at times, celebratory. Sotho Blue seems to state the quiet optimism that Ibrahim feels towards his native South Africa post-Apartheid.

Ian Patterson spoke with Ibrahim about the recording of Sotho Blue, the secret of how to recruit good musicians...and subbing for Duke Ellington.

Check out Abdullah Ibrahim: Perpetual Change, today at All About Jazz!

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