There is a great gravitas about hearing Abdullah Ibrahim live and you get that here on The Balance which is to be released by Gearbox on Friday. With his band Ekaya this was recorded in London and simplicity is key, grand cadences and rich tonality washes all over the record which has a rich instrumentation including even harmonica on the title track as well as cello, and piccolo. But it is the pianistic touches above all you are looking for expressed in a language Ibrahim himself has provided all the vocabulary for. Ibrahim now in his eighties has always had that ability to make his presence count and rather than flurries of uptempo fast fingered melodies prefers to underline what he has to say with chords that count delivered as if they matter. And they so joyfully do. One of the releases of the year.