Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Black History Month: Mindif

Black History Month continues at HurdAudio with ears tuned to Abdullah Ibrahim (a.k.a. Dollar Brand) and Mindif. Recorded in 1988.

Abdullah Ibrahim - voice, flute, piano
Ricky Ford - soprano sax, tenor sax
Craig Handy - flute, tenor sax
Benny Powell - trombone
David Williams - bass
Billy Higgins - drums, gambray

This music was composed for the film Chocolat (1988).

"Earth Bird" opens this listening experience with a meditative, distinctively African influenced prelude consisting of flute, voice and gambray providing an invocation for the sonic journey that follows. "African Market" then launches into the soulful, gospel drenched sound one expects and seeks out from Abdullah Ibrahim. The incredible rhythmic compatibility of Ibrahim with Billy Higgins - easily one of my favorite drummers of all time - is the sound of joy.

"Mindif" - played as a piano trio. An inspired piano trio. This is a moderate tempo composition that ebbs and breathes through some nice harmonic changes. I'd be curious to hear multiple interpretations of this piece. "Serenity (The Daybreak Song)" provides a brief recap of this composition as the final track. This time with flute instead of piano.

"Protee" is a trio for gambray, bass and voice. It marks a return to the quiet texture found in the opening track that partitions the three piano centered pieces that precede it and the three that follow it.

"Theme for Mark" is my personal favorite from this collection. Here it's performed as a duet for piano and bass with a strong focus on Ibrahim's piano and the intricate harmonies he unfolds over the course of this ballad.

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