After Decades in Exile, Abdullah Ibrahim Finds Beauty and Balance

Originally published on September 1, 2019. Among three stunning solo-piano improvisations on Adbullah Ibrahim’s latest recording, The Balance (Gearbox), the mysteriously shimmering “Tonegawa” is named for the 84-year-old maestro’s martial arts instructor. The track reflects Ibrahim’s decades-long study of the Japanese discipline budo. “It has nothing to do with fighting,” the pianist explains during a...

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