City Center Follow Up
Okay, so Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela didn't share the stage, which is too bad - granted though, Masekela made a very touching point of reference to Abdullah Ibrahim during his set.
The Soweto String Quartet's US concert debut went quite well - performing with the singer Khanyo - a Sarafina alumna. The back-up music for them was canned, which was too bad, but they sounded great on their solo piece, and provided very subtle tasteful back-up to Khanyo (who, might I add, is one damn good singer).
Abdullah Ibrahim did a beautiful solo set that was a very special experience to those of us in the audience who like his music (which, judging by the crowd's reaction, was most of us). Without his trio, he filled the space more with fluid runs in his playing, and even threw in some of the dissonance work that marked his playing in the 1960s.
Side note: I'd like to also take this opportunity to threaten great harm to the jerks in the audience who couldn't SILENCE THEIR DAMN PHONES - especially after the host specially came on before Ibrahim's set to ask that everyone switch off their phones. During his 35-minute set: three cell phone rings. Thanks a lot, guys.
Hugh Masekela's band ultimately seemed a bit underpowered, but had great moments, largely due to his inclusion of bassist Bakithi Khumalo, keyboardist Tony Cedras, and most important, saxophonist Morris Goldberg. Goldberg's saxophone is the best counterpart to Masekela's horn - if you don't believe me, check it out on this album.
All-in-all, a fine evening of music! I'll be posting a review on AAJ soon.