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Buddy TATE Meets Abdullah IBRAHIM – The Legendary Encounter 1977

Posted in Abdullah IBRAHIM, Buddy TATE, JAZZ on December 21, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Buddy TATE Meets Abdullah IBRAHIM – The Legendary Encounter 1977
Recorded at Downtown Sound, New York City, 25. 8. 1977
1996 Issue.

Jazz

Initially a meeting between swing tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate and post-bop pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (still widely known as Dollar Brand in 1977 when this CD was recorded), this seems like a possible misfire. Instead, it proves to be an inspiration, as each player taught the other new music and they successfully blended their disparate jazz backgrounds into one outstanding album. The first track, “Goduka Mfundi,” is particularly interesting; it’s an original by Ibrahim that Tate and the rhythm section (drummer Roy Brooks and bassist Cecil McBee) had just learned prior to recording it, and the composer sits out this hypnotic African groove tune. The pianist’s other original is the tasty blues “Heyt Mazurki.” Tate’s quick tutoring of Ibrahim also pays off huge dividends, as “Doggin’ Around” is the most smoking performance of the date, while “Just You, Just Me” proves to be a unique mix of swing and African jazz. The remaining two quartet tracks are familiar turf to all parties. Tate’s soulful tone recalls Ben Webster in “Poor Butterfly,” though Ibrahim clearly steals the show with his well-disguised, dreamy introduction to Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood.” At this point Tate had to leave for a gig, and the date was completed as a trio. “Shrimp Boats,” a piece that Ibrahim recorded on several different occasions, is slow to develop but a very infectious chant-like work. The pianist actual chants along with the almost Middle Eastern-sounding introduction that eventually unfolds into John Lewis’ well-known “Django”; in fact, this ten-plus minute piece is nearly over by the time they segue into its theme, following McBee’s terrific arco bass solo and Brooks’ superb drum solo. It’s a shame there wasn’t an encore meeting between Ibrahim and Tate following the making of this memorable disc.
By Ken Dryden. AMG.
**
Who would have thought that Buddy Tate and Abdullah Ibrahim (aka Dollar Brand) would record together someday ? Buddy Tate (1913-2001),a tenor sax master from the swing era, was a member of Count Basie’s orchestra at the end of the thirties,and remained active in music after he turned 80 years old. Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (born October 9,1934 in South Africa),was discovered by Duke Ellington.Duke even produced his first recording session, on the Reprise label (at that time,Abdullah was known as Dollar Brand),and also produced a record of Dollar’s wife,singer Sathima Bea Benjamin.Then,Abdullah recorded several masterpieces,mostly in solo piano (“anthem for the new nations” on Denon,”ode to Duke Ellington” and “memories” on West Wind,”african piano” on ECM,”anatomy of a south african village” on Black Lion,and many others.
In 1977,producer Hank O’Neal had the crazy idea of inviting Dollar and Buddy to record together.This was the idea: Abdullah would teach Buddy some of his tunes (“Goduka Mfundi” and “Heyt Mazurki”),Buddy would teach Abdullah some of his (“doggin’ around” and “just you,just me”), and a pair of standards would complete the session (“poor butterfly” and Duke’s “in a sentimental mood”).Bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Roy Brooks were hired for the session;they both recorded with Abdullah for Enja a few months before.Buddy Tate’s playing is great,he really feels at home, and Abdullah’s solos on standards is interesting to discover.After the first six tracks were taped,Buddy had to leave because he was playing at the Crawdaddy Club,NYC,so the trio recorded two more tracks which didn’t appear on the original LP.”shrimp boats”, a Randy Weston original, sounds very african.”Django”, of course, is John Lewis’ masterpiece, a tune dedicated to french gipsy guitar player, Django Reinhardt.After a haunting ad-lib introduction,with only drums,bass and voice (Abdullah’s ?),the trio goes into a Coltrane-like exploration of the theme,without playing it.Abdullah’s playing is very reminiscent of McCoy Tyner’s,not based on the melody of the tune but only on the chords.THis is a very interesting meeting of two masters who maybe would never had the opportunity of playing together.And another marvel from Chiaroscuro,a label who commited some great records in the 70’s.
By  JEAN-MARIE JUIF.
**
Buddy Tate- (Saxophone);
Abdullah Ibrahim- (Piano);
Cecil McBee- (Bass);
Roy Brooks- (Drums).
**
01. Goduka Mfundi (Going Home) (A. Ibrahim) (7:15)
02. Heyt Mazurki (A. Ibrahim) (6:52)
03. Poor Butterfly (R. Hubbell – J. Golden) (8:30)
04. In A Sentimental Mood (D. Ellington – M. Kurtz – I. Mills) (7:30)
05. Doggin’ Around (H. Evans – E. Battle) (4:38)
06. Just You, Just Me (J. Greer – R. Klages) (7:25)
07. Shrimp Boats (P. Weston – P. Howard) (7:25)
08. Django (J. Lewis) (10:35)
**
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