Friday, May 26, 2017

Abdul Rahim Ibrahim - 1977 - Al Rahman! Cry of the Floridian Tropic Son

Abdul Rahim Ibrahim 
1977
Al Rahman! Cry of the Floridian Tropic Son



01. Balancez Calinda 4:23
02. Eroniffa's Brown Bird 4:25
03. The Watcher 6:35
04. Casbah 4:45
05. Tropic Sons 3:03
06. Al Rahman 15:17

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Paul Batiste
Bass – Curtis Robertson
Congas, Timbales, Percussion [African & Brazillian] – Khalid Abdullah
Drums, Drums [Traps] – Howard King
Lead Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer, Written-By – Abdul Rahim Ibrahim
Tenor Saxophone – George Harper
Vocals – Kweili

LIner Notes CD Reissue:
Artist appears as "Abdul Rahim Ibrahim formerly Doug Carn" on release.

"Suratal Ihklas" includes text from the Holy Quran, Sura CXII.
"Al Rahman!" includes text from the Holy Quran, Sura LV.




The 'Lost' album from cult pianist Doug Carn of Black Jazz fame. Mystic soul-jazz songs with disco twists under the common influences of Earth Wind & Fire and John Coltrane. Doug Carn is the most famous artist of Black Jazz records, the cult record label of the 70s. He recorded four albums for Black Jazz which are considered by many jazz lovers as 70s soul jazz classics. In the mid seventies, Doug Carn left the Black Jazz label, got divorced and converted to Islam. He changed his name to Abdul Rahim Ibrahim, and cut this nice record of spacey soul tracks, most of which feature vocals by Doug and the Jean Carn-esque Kweili. At its best, the set has a nice spiritual groove with spacey keyboards, and a vocal approach that sounds a bit like Jon Lucien or Roy Ayers.

Tracks include the spiritual jazz classics Al Rahman, a fifteen minute prayer. As the original liner notes said: Part of the purpose of this album is to show the members of the funk-pop-rock and Jazz-Afro-Cuban-Latin and the Traditional-Blues-Gospel oriented subcultures in western societies that the Arabic language and Islamic Din are not necessarily alien to them. And more specifically, to show that the syllablistic expression of the be-bop language and the evolved musical ideas of the great innovators John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner are equally Arabic in nature, as Jazz itself is a word of Arabic Origin.



Reminded me a little of Lonnie Liston Smith. This album is a nice mix of ballad, and a soul funk fusiony feeling, mostly in English, occasionally in Arabic! On first listen it may occasionally seem quirky beyond palatability though the second time I went through this CD I suddenly found myself liking it a lot more.

Expressive soul/funk/disco with a sense of expirimentation in the melding of music, religious idea and black 70s jazz culture. This album came out in 1977 and it definitely has a feeling of the times. Since I mentioned Lonnie Liston Smith earlier (they seem to be in a comparable category), I'd also like to recommend "Renaissance" (by Smith) if you can find it - it truly soars. Doug Carn's "Cry of the Floridian Tropic Son" is worth exploring in its own right though. It has a unique feeling that may (or may not) be best described by quoting from the original liner notes on the music:

"Part of the purpose of this album is to show the members of the funk-pop-rock and jazz-afro-cuban-latin and the traditional-blues-gospel oriented subcultures in western societies, that the Arabic language and Islamic Din are not necessarily alien to them. And more specifically, to show that the syllabilistic expression of the be-bop language and the evolved musical ideas of the great innovators John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner are equally Arabic in nature, as Jazz itself is a word of Arabic Origin....

To some Sheiks of Quran and Islamic Jurist, the preceding paragraph is pure heresy. However with all due respect, this album is not for them... Part of the problem lies in the fact that the intelligence arms of certain rival military and religious groups in centuries past saw fit to inject many false ideas into the hadiths (traditions of Muhammad P.B.U.H.) as an effective means of countering the threat Islam posed to their own ideas and to gain control over the territory held by the Muslims, i.e. The Fertile Crescent. Another aspect of the problem is a matter of Education - as most of us do not accept music for what it really is... The basic component of music is sound. And sound is but the audible vibrations of matter. In addition, all sound vibrations produce notes. Notes in reality are any phenomina indicating or producing pitch, frequency, wave length, wave form, modulation and duration, etc..

When these phenomina are duplicated or mathematically considered in any way, they produce harmony and rhythm. Therefore, any sound can be considered music just as any music can be considered likeable or dis-likeable. The smashing of atoms, street noise, spoken languages, the chirping of birds, the blowing winds, and rock and roll are all forms of music - music that is variously organized or dis-organized in different ways...

Therefore I hope that this album will help man to transcend the "misconceptions" that causes a Priest to chant Holy Scriptures in a perfect oriental scale (mode), and then turn around and say that music is evil, and that what he himself is creating is not equally music...

But most of all I hope that this album will help us to transcend the intellectual and spiritual barriers that have placed all music that is pleasurable, listenable, fashionable and danceable within the confines of pimp culture."

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