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Abdullah Ibrahim signs to Gearbox

New album due for release in summer 2019

The Gearbox label has announced it will release the first album in four years from the South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, formally known as Dollar Brand.

The record, as yet untitled, features unreleased compositions with Ibrahim's long-time band Ekaya, all recorded over the course of a day at London’s RAK studios last November. The set will consist of full band arrangements as well as some solo improvised piano pieces. "With Ekaya, I am blessed in that I have all these textural opportunities," says Ibrahim.

"We push ourselves out of our comfort zones,” he continues, “so that we can present to the listener our striving for excellence. So that we can engage with our listeners without any barriers of our ego. It’s not jazz. For us, it’s a process of transcending barriers. Technically it’s very, very skilled, but there’s simplicity in the complexity so that people can relate to it. It’s a natural rhythm of the universe. We’ve been looking at recording for some time. But we were looking for the correct vehicle. Someone who understands what we’re doing."

Ibrahim will headline the London Jazz Festival in November.