Saturday, October 31, 2009

Top Dollar

Here's a great jazz selection from South African pianist Dollar Brand (aka Abdullah Ibrahim): two albums, 'Mannenberg' and 'African Herbs'. I hadn't listened to these in years until I was casting around for something I could post today that required next to no preparation. I dug it out and gave it a spin, and I'm damn glad I did.

These are my favourite Dollar Brand albums, and listening to Mannenberg still gives me goosebumps. I just don't have words to say how beautiful these records are. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have, although I must apologise for the truly appalling sound quality.

I think all the tracks are available on various reissues, and you'll get far better sound and far more enjoyment if you go out and get them (this was ripped from a 10 year old tape and is horribly muffled). To give you an idea of what you might be missing, here's part of the album as it sounds on the CD - I think I might treat myself to a copy sometime over Christmas.

There's a good review of the two albums here:

There's also a superb write-up of 'Mannenberg' here:

And here they are:

I recorded these albums off a tape owned by a good friend. She also introduced me to John Martyn and Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, so I owe her proper.

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