(Intuition INT34422 (CD+DVD))
The South African pianist has just turned 80, and here he is in Sacile in north eastern Italy in a studio with just a Fazioli grand piano for company. He looks back over his life in music, playing tunes he composed as a young man – as a teenager even – right through to the most recent in over 60 years of playing jazz piano.
The music is glorious, full of the wisdom and reflection that comes with age, qualities that supplant what might be a diminishing of technical facility: Abdullah certainly doesn’t play as fast or with such energy as he once did, just as an 80-year-old doesn’t move as quickly, albeit he is remarkably fit, both in mind and body, for a man of his years.
But as the pace slows and as he is alone, so there is more opportunity to fully appreciate the strength of his writing, the natural wit of his improvisations and the depth of his understanding, not only of music but of life.
The real bonus here is that in addition to the CD there is a DVD of Ibrahim talking about his life, playing the piano and even singing some phrases.
A beautiful birthday tribute to a jazz great.
- To buy Abdullah Ibrahim’s The Song Is My Story go here.