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Abdullah Ibrahim - Brother With Perfect
Abdullah Ibrahim - Brother With Perfect
Actor: Abdullah Ibrahim
Director: Chris Austin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2005     1hr 30min

A superb film on the life and music of one of South Africa's finest musicians, Abdullah Ibrahim. Following Ibrahim's vivid stories, the film moves between New York and Cape Town, mixing documentary with dramatized episodes...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Abdullah Ibrahim
Director: Chris Austin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Jazz, Other Music, International
Studio: Mvd Visual
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/19/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

A Music Of Struggle, A Study Of Perfect Timing
Michael F. Hopkins | Buffalo, NY USA | 12/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the finest documentaries on African Music
makes its way onto DVD, and it's a sure bet that
this feature hits the ground swinging. A BROTHER
WITH PERFECT TIMING is an exceptional look at
Abdullah Ibrahim, the remarkable South African
pianist-composer who's made his mark on Jazz and
other musical fields for a good half-century now,
and is still playing strong.
Wisely, the 1980s documentary -co-produced by Chris
Austin, Gill Bond, and Ibrahim himself- centers upon
the artist's own nitty-gritty eloquence in speaking
on the basics of this music, and the culture it emanates
from. Those used to the overly-academic, over-the-top
fundamentalist mouthings of the Marsalis era will find
this presentation from Music Video Distributors to be
quite the eye-opener.
Both earthy and polished, the anecdotes which spin from
Ibrahim's seasoned rap tingle with great wisdom, a touch
of naughtiness to spice up the virtuous flavor, and an
abundance of winning charm.

Ibrahim's academy is the education of struggle,
honed in surmounting the gauntlets of sanctioned
prejudice and societal apathy to shape his art.
Delivering traditions that refuse to die, he is
strengthened by the innovations of two continents
which will not be silenced.
To hear Ibrahim talk on the healing power of Music
is to hear a master scientist of sound sharing
precious herbs with those who have been ill for
too long. No New Age rejoinder, Ibrahim's is the
authentic caliber of indigenous song which New Agers
have been superficially trying to cop for decades
now. Listen to his talk on the roots of the classic
"Mannenburg", or his thoughts on Thelonious Monk,
and hear the bounty of his reflections upon the
nature of his struggles to be heard, as he shares
all he continues to learn.

Best of all, Ibrahim consistently puts his money
where his mouth is. His spontaneous deliberations
as a speaker are more than matched by his steady
breaks upon himself to play exactly what he is
talking about.
Equally delightful are the documentary's frequent
segments of his activities as a leader. Between
his employment of African choral tradition, and
his equally superb instrumental arrangements, you
never lose sight of the aural richness at hand.
Longtime lovers of Great Black Music will recognize
baritone saxophonist Charles Davis, multi-reed
threat Rick Ford, and tenor saxophonist Basil
Coetzee (the last featured briefly as he plays
part of his now-acclaimed solo from "Mannenburg").

While the DVD could probably use some digital
remastering here and there, the play is clean
enough, and its contents are crystal clear.
Whatever your musical interests, A BROTHER WITH
PERFECT TIMING is an impeccable testimony to
the power of positive, uplifting song, delivered
by one of the world's most unique messengers.
Heed his call.