Pioneer of South African Jazz: With more than 50 albums from Township Jive to classical music, the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, alias Dollar Brand, has shaped the history of his country’s music like no other. Almost 60 years ago, together with Hugh Masekela, he founded the Jazz Epistles in South Africa, one of the most important bands playing a highly political Jazz during the rule of the Apartheid state. The exceptional musician, who began his professional career at the age of 15, is accompanied by his septet Ekaya, founded in 1983.
Cosmic liberation: For decades the spiritual Jazz records which The Pyramids released between 1973 and 1976 were just insider tips among collectors. However, since the US band around Idris Ackamoor re-formed a few years ago, it has experienced a second spring—with new albums and tours all over the world. With good reason, as their cosmically liberated Jazz with conch shell horns, costumes, and trancelike dance interludes is a spiritual and entertaining experience in the tradition of Sun Ra’s Arkestra.