Abdullah Ibrahim: Water From An Ancient Well, Soweto, The Mountain, The Wedding, and The Blessing from Capetown Revisited (Enja)
Abdullah Ibrahim: The Mountain and The Blessing from Water From An Ancient Well (Enja)
The first of these recordings by the venerable South African pianist and bandleader is mostly a trio date, live, with the occasional appearance by trumpeter Faya Faku, recorded in 2000. The second is a studio recording from 1987 with a sextet. The Mountain and The Wedding are great examples of Abdullah's stately intermingling of South African folk forms and Duke Ellington-like jazz.
But his jazz was not always Duke Ellington: check out some of his CD's from the 1970s and 80s and you will find collaborations with avant-garde types like trumpeter Donald Cherry. Abdullah has covered a lot of ground and styles in the last few decades, always with a soulful beauty and integrity that is all his own and which I have always loved. He played at Nelson Mandela's presidential inauguration ceremony.
Jon Hassell: Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street from Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street (ECM)
From Jon Hassell's website:
"A childhood in Memphis, a classical conservatory education, composition and electronic music study with Stockhausen in Cologne; a passage through the New York minimalist sphere with Terry Riley, Reich, Glass; having a window opened onto the world's music and a new approach to the trumpet via vocal master Pandit Pran Nath; a questioning and deconstruction of the European dichotomy between classical and popular, sacred and sensual; a pioneer of digital transformation and sampling—all of this led to Fourth World—the unique blend described as "worldly music" to underline a more subtle equation at work and discourage the simplistic labeling of "world," "jazz," "classical," "minimal," or "ambient.""
Bach: Partita for Solo Flute in A Minor; Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute, from Johann Sebastian Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Flute
"For me, the flute is really the sound of humanity, the sound of man flowing, completely free from his body almost without an intermediary. . . . Playing the flute is not as direct as singing, but it's nearly the same."-- Jean-Pierre Rampal
Stephen Fearing: Goodnight Moon from Yellowjacket (Northern Blues)
Stephen Fearing is coming to the Keep the Beat event at Lakeside Park in Nelson this summer, much to the delight of my daughters Rosie and Laura who are among the organizers of the event and also his nieces (he's their Mom's brother).
He can sing in a very high range and this lovely song is proof of that.