Abdullah Ibrahim

Africa: Tears and Laughter

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AllMusic Review by

This unusual set is powerful but clearly for selected tastes. Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and saxophonist Talib Qadr, who doubles on soprano and alto, are mostly heard singing and chanting during Ibrahim's religious piece "Ishmael," a heartfelt but difficult-to-listen-to tribute to the pianist's Islamic faith. His other originals, which sometimes find Ibrahim playing soprano, are also quite spiritual, featuring a lot of emphasis on the melody statements and pure religious passion from the quartet, which also includes bassist Greg Brown and drummer John Betsch. A sincere but not essential release.

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