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African Symphony by Abdullah Ibrahim

Abdullah’s Ibrahim’s African Symphony as performed by the Munich Radio Symphony along with Ibrahim on piano, Marcus McLaurine on bass and George Gray on drums presents a spacious musical panorama inspired by the vast continent of Africa. Combining intricate dance rhythms with other unique sounds the orchestra presents music inspired by various scenes such as "Mountain in the Night," The Wedding," and "African Marketplace."

Ibrahim composed 10 of the eleven segments that comprise the African Symphony with Daniel Schnyder’s "Ritus," recorded here by the group Absolute Ensemble serving as an overture or musical appetizer to Ibrahim’s main course. In all cases the orchestra serves as a backdrop to Ibrahim’s trio providing a full symphonic sound to the compositions.

If there is one negative to this recording is that with the addition of the full orchestra, the music begins to resemble a sound track for a film. This is not necessarily bad, however potential listeners should be aware the music they will be getting with African Symphony will be more akin to sounds found in a supporting role rather than what one may normally associate with an upfront performance of jazz music.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Abdullah Ibrahim
  • CD Title: African Symphony
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: ENJA
  • Tracks: Ritus, Damara Blue, Mountain in the Night, The Call, Blanton, Ishmael, Barakaat, Tintinyana, The Wedding, Mindif, African Marketplace
  • Musicians: Abdullah Ibrahim (piano), Marcus McLaurine (bass), George Gray (drums), Munich Radio Symphony (conducted by Barbara Yahr), Absolute Ensemble (conducted by Kristjan Jarvi)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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