Freshly Played #26: Abdullah Ibrahim

To kick off the week, something local…

Abdullah Ibrahim is a South African jazz pianist and composer, born Adolph Johannes Brand in Cape Town, he performed under the name Dollar Brand both locally and internationally.

After his conversion to Islam in the 70’s Brand changed his name, and chose to live in self-exile in New York because of the apartheid system in effect in South Africa. He has since returned to South Africa and lives in Cape Town.

Probably the best known “Dollar Brand” recording is Mannenberg which was inspired by the Cape Flats township Manenberg, and later came to be associated with the struggle against apartheid.

This is a shortened version of the much longer track which runs for nearly 14 minutes.

Freshly Played #11: Alison Moyet

There’s something about a woman with a strong blues voice that’s so irresistible.

Mix that with a jazzy tune and you have a winner. Today I’m listening to Alison Moyet, formerly of Yazoo, who had quite a successful solo career.

That Ole Devil Called Love

Originally sung by Billie Holiday in the 40’s, Moyet’s cover released in 1985 is arguably better. Her voice is much more powerful than Holiday’s. That’s not to say that Holiday’s original is not good; it is. But Moyet took the original and made it her own; it’s just so much more authoritative.

I chose a YouTube video of a live version which is just a little different from the studio recording.


The Billie Holiday Original

God Hates Jazz

Three years ago Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans with a fury that was described by some evangelists such as Pat Robertson as God’s revenge for abortion and homosexuality among other things considered as “evil” by these hate mongering preachers.

After the death and destruction wreaked by Katrina, the poor people of New Orleans were subjected to further pain and suffering when they were shamefully abandoned by the Republican government of George Bush. According to Michael Moore, on the day that Katrina broke the first levees (dikes), George Bush was apparently partying with John McCain, and they continued having fun at a fundraiser, a full day afterwards, while New Orleans was flooding.

Last week, another evangelist, the Rev. James Dobson, a well-known right wing nut-job and also considered as a New Hitler for the Twenty-First Century, called for his dim-wit followers to pray for a storm so that Barrack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Denver, would be cancelled. However in an ironic turn of events, the storm in the form of Hurricane Gustav was set to hit New Orleans again and Louisiana where The Republican National Convention was scheduled to take place.

Now some are saying that God has a great sense of humor by punishing the Republicans and their supporters, such as the Rev. Dobson. But it surely has to make one wonder if  “He” just does not like Jazz music and can’t stand to see folks having a good time (as they usually do in New Orleans).