- By the time SENZO was released in 2008, the great South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim had long been making inventive wholly yet accessible jazz for nearly 50 years. As though to acknowledge the length and breadth of his career, SENZO, a collection of 22 pieces for solo acoustic piano, plays like a sweet, lyrical tapestry of Ibrahim's deep and abiding talent. As always, Ibrahim weaves any number of musical influences into his playing, including post-bop, blues, ambient-tinged chamber music, and the township music of his native country. Yet his work never feels like a collage. Instead, the music sings with an authority and sensitivity that is a clear product of Ibrahim's artistic mastery, so that references to Coltrane and Ellington seem as natural as references to South African roots music. The intimacy and grace of the artist's solo piano performances on SENZO make it all the more memorable.
Down Beat (p.61) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "The 22-part solo suite, all original except for a transformative musing on Duke Ellington's 'In A Sentimental Mood,' is a ruminative, deeply felt integration of themes and sounds from throughout the pianist's life."
Signal To Noise (magazine) (p.53) - "SENZO is a solo set beautifully captured in a German radio studio in April of 2008. It's a 55-minute medley roaming through his catalog of wonderful compositions..."