Magazine article The Spectator

Culture Notes: Abdullah Ibrahim's Mannenberg

Magazine article The Spectator

Culture Notes: Abdullah Ibrahim's Mannenberg

Article excerpt

Credit: Lindsay Johns

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Mannenberg , the seminal album by the Cape Townian jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand).

Recorded against a backdrop of forced removals as the apartheid government evicted Coloured families from District Six, the title track was inspired by and named after the township of Manenberg, where many of those who had been displaced were resettled. An instant hit, the song swiftly became identified with the valiant struggle against apartheid.

Notable for the haunting tenor saxophone solo by Basil Coetzee, and with Robbie Jansen on alto sax and Monty Weber on drums, the 13-minute title track is threnodic, passionate and ethereally beautiful.

Like all great music, 'Mannenberg' is both specific and universal. …

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