Friday, February 11, 2011

Jabulani: Dollar Brand

Dollar Brand
11' x 8"
oil on wood, 2011
There was a record convention in town and I went for a change. I spent a few hours browsing but not buying much until, on my way out the door, I came across a rather insignificant looking table hosted by Tom Luce of Cincinnati. I bought eight records at his table as he specialized at precisely the kind of Jazz I like. Charles Lloyd, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Leon Thomas are among the names who's records I bought from him. A top 10 list of my favorite purchases I made that day will follow below, I haven't even listened to all of them. My favorite so far is a record by Dollar Brand called African Space Program. Adolph Johannes Brand, or Abdullah Ibrahim, as he is known now, is a South Africa born pianist/composer. I own now four of his records and he has been in the Top 100 several times be it not in recent years. I didn't take me long to paint his portrait once again. The song Jabulani goes straight into my list of 100. "Jabulani", you may now think, "where did I hear that name before?" I'll give you the answer in a second but not after telling you that it means 'Come to bring happiness to everybody'. Jabulani, indeed, is the name of the ball used at World Cup in South Africa last summer. The ball was heavily criticized because of its unpredictable path through the air. With a little imagination you hear in Dollar Brand's recording a soccer match being played out. You can hear the referee's whistle, you can imagine the unpredictable path through the air, and with a even a little more imagination you can distinguish Nigel de Jong's karate kick on the ribs of Xabi Alonso in the cup's final, all on side two of African Space Program, just shy of 23 minutes.

The top 10 of record shopping at the Columbus convention (album names in parenthesis)
  1. Dollar Brand - Jabulani (African Space Program)
  2. Leon Thomas - Gypsy Queen (Blues and the Soulful Truth)
  3. Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Pedal Up (Bright Moments)
  4. Charles Lloyd - Love-In (Love-In)
  5. Floyd Westerman - B.I.A. (Custer Died for Your Sins)
  6. Airto - Bruxos, the Magicians (Identity)
  7. The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize (Picture disc)
  8. John Fahey - Yes! Jesus Loves Me (Yes! Jesus Loves Me: Guitar Hymns)
  9. Yusef Lateef - Oatsy Doatsy (Part of the Search)
  10. Morton Subotnick - Part 1 (Silver Apples of the Moon for Electronic Music Synthesizer)

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